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The Story of 

Organ Music 


Walter Scott Publishing 

fork : Charles Scribner 


ANYTHING like a complete history of the rise and de- 
velopment of organ music would require a far larger 
book than this, and would probably extend to several 
volumes, to say nothing of a collection of examples 
of the various schools and epochs, which would be 
necessary. The reader must therefore expect to find 
nothing more than an outline of the subject, in which 
a few of the works of some of the leading representa- 
tives are briefly described. 

I have drawn considerably on Ritter's Geschichte des 
Orgelspiels, which deals with organ-playing from the 
fourteenth to the beginning of the eighteenth centuries, 
with special regard to that of Germany. It has a 
valuable collection of no less than one hundred and 
thirty-six pieces of early organ music of all nations 
as its second volume; and this, in conjunction with 
the collections of Commer and others, gives us a 
great deal of insight into the gradual growth of organ 
forms. My studies have led me to the conclusion that 

Story of Organ Music 

the history of organ music all revolves round one 
gigantic personality, J. S. Bach: for the earlier com- 
positions of Italy, Germany, and England seem almost 
to have only existed in order to make his possible, and 
since him no organ composer of any eminence has 
existed who has not been largely influenced by him. 
This, at any rate, is the view to which I have been 
led, but it is quite possible that others may arrive at 
different conclusions. 

Since it is not convenient to add a second volume of 
musical illustrations, as Ritter was able to do, I have 
had to content myself with a few quotations in an 
Appendix. I have given the whole of a Toccata by 
Pasquini, whose works were supposed until recently to 
have been lost to the world ; and the style of Elizabethan 
organ music is exemplified by a Choralvorspiel by Dr. 
John Bull, the most famous English organist of his day. 
I take this opportunity of acknowledging the courtesy 
of the Curators of the Schools of Oxford University in 
allowing me to reproduce their portrait of this great 
musician, which will be found facing page 192. 

C. F. A. W. 


October, 1905. 






Antiquity of the organ The hydraulus and its music Differences 
between ancient and modern music Rapidity of execution 
referred to by ancient writers Ephemeral nature of instru- 
mental music in general Three periods of modern organ 
music . I 



Necessity of form Dance music Early forms of organ music 
Music and architecture compared Harmony and counter- 
point Rise of tonality Rhythm and popular music . . II 



Landino The several kinds of ancient organ Organs at St. 
Mark's, Venice Zucchetti Orgamim magmim and organum 
parvum Organist and organ-builder Sguarcialupo 
Willaert Buus The music at St. Mark's The earliest 
printed Italian organ music 21 

Story of Organ Music 




Merulo Palestrina Gabriel! Popular tunes in church Diruta 
// Transilvano Toccatas Use of the stops Antegnati 
Italian organs and organists of the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries 33 


Frescobaldi Directions for the proper performance of his music 
Rossi Fasolo Other Italian organists of the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries 55 



The rise of organ music in Germany Faumann His Funda- 
mentum Organizandi Compass of German organs 
Hofhaimer Increase in the number of organs The Koch 
family Arnold Schlick Spiegel der Orgelmacher German 
Tablatures Kleber Coloratura Ammerbach Popular 
tunes set to sacred words 70 

GERMAN ORGAN MUSIC (continued}. 

The Schmids Origin of tablatures The fugue Paix Woltz 
Luython Luther's hymns Rise of the Choralvorspiel 
Scheldt Sweelinck Decay of German tablatures The 
organ was not at first used to accompany the choir or con- 
gregation Scheldt's directions for the management of the 
organ His tonality Forms of organ music settled in 
Germany 87 


GERMAN ORGAN MUSIC (continued}. 


Scheidemann Reinken Buxtehude Bruhns The South 
German school Hassler Kindermann Schlemmer 
Pachelbel Steigleder Erbach Speth Froberger and the 
legends concerning him Kerl Muffat The Bach family . 104 


The organ works of J. S. Bach 124 

/7 <re V^) 



The organ in France First French publication French tablature 
Titelouze Gigault Raison French preference for reed 
stops Le Begue French organs D'Anglebert Chambon- 
nieres The Couperins Marchand Rameau Bedos de 
Celles 143 



Authorities for Spanish musical history Music in a Spanish 
cathedral Spanish organs Cabezon Spanish tablature 
Hernando de Cabezon Diego de Castillo Clavigo Arraujo 
Lorente Nassarre Equal Temperament first proposed in 
Spain Change of style in organ music Eslava Portuguese 
music Netherlands music Bells and organs Bull, Phillips, 
and other Englishmen in the Netherlands Cornet Van 
Gheyn Sweelinck Van Noordt 158 

Story of Organ Music 




The organ in the English church University degrees English 
tablature Henry Abington Cathedral music Day's Cer- 
tain* Notes Congregational singing Tallis Tye Byrd 
Blitheman Bull The Gibbons family Abolition of the 
Liturgy 179 


Re-erection of organs after the Restoration The influence of the 
opera on church music New use of the organ Dr. Greene 
John Robinson Cornet pieces Dr. Blow Double and 
single organs Croft Purcell His Toccata in A His views 
of English music Advent of Handel Burney's views of 
English instrumental music Handel's organ works Mace 
and the organ in parish churches Village church bands . 199 



Italian organ music Vallotti Santucci Capocci Terrabugio 
Bossi German organ music W. F. Bach Pupils of J. S. 
Bach Rinck Albrechtsberger Vogler The Schneiders 
Mendelssohn Hesse Schumann The Fischers Faisst 
Thiele Ritter Merkel Rheinberger Fahrmann Reger 
French organ music Benoist Lambillotte Nisard 
Lefebure-\Vely Franck Bocllmann Saint-Saens Dubois 
Guilmant Widor Dutch organists Van Eijken De 
Lnnge . . . . . . . . . .221 





Roseingrave Arne Stan ley Nares Cooke Du puis Beck - 
with The Wesleys Clarke- Whitfeld Russell Crotch 
Novello Adams S. S. Wesley Smart Stirling Spark 
Ouseley Best The present English school . . . 240 


Musical Illustrations ......... 263 

A Chronological Synopsis of Organ Composers . . . .281 


Bibliography and Collections of Organ Music .... 286 
INDEX 291 


List of Illustrations. 



HENRY BARRAUD Frontispiece 













1650 118 


Story of Organ Music 


FROM KIRCHER, 1650 172 


Facing p. 192 



JOHN JACKSON, R.A Facing p. 244 


Story of Organ Music. 



Antiquity of the organ The hydraulus and its music Differences 
between ancient and modern music Rapidity of execution referred 
to by ancient writers Ephemeral nature of instrumental music in 
general Three periods of modern organ music. 

WHILE the history of the organ itself has been fre- 
quently written, the story of the music played on it 
has received less attention than the instrument itself, 
probably because all music, however great, being" an 
expression of contemporary art-feeling 1 , becomes anti- 
quated in course of time, and gradually loses its 
force for new generations, who require new modes 
of expression and a new art-language. 

With the exception of the trumpet, horn, and oboe, 
the organ is the most ancient wind instrument in use 
amongst cultivated musicians at present. But, by 

Story of Organ Music 

what may seem like a paradox, the organ is not only 
one of the most ancient, but is at the same time the 

most modern of instruments, for its capa- 
n iquity bjjities and resources have so enormously 

increased during the last century, that there 

is almost as much difference between an 
instrument of to-day and one of a hundred years ago 
as there is between the modern express train and the 
stage coach with its " lightning speed" of twelve miles 
an hour. And, just as remarkable travels and voyages 
were made in the days of coaches and sailing-ships, so 
remarkable compositions were written and performed 
by composers who were only acquainted with instru- 
ments that we should consider clumsy and unmanage- 
able in the extreme. The organ-builder's art has 
certainly lightened the work of the player, and ex- 
tended the resources of the composer; but it cannot 
in itself produce great composers or players. These 
will arise independently of the greater or less perfection 
of the instrument with which they have to deal, and 
all improvements in the organ are made with a view to 
their requirements, rather than for the sake of the in- 
strument itself. 

The history of the organ begins with the hydraulus 
of the Roman Empire, whose powers were a source of 

greater astonishment to ancient audiences 
JL * than the far finer and more highly-developed 

modern organ is to an audience of to-day; 
for we are so accustomed to wonderful feats of skill 
and extraordinary perfection of mechanism, that we 

Modes of the Hydraulus 

take everything as a matter of course. Of the music 
that was played on the hydraulus not a vestige remains. 
Though the ancients had a complete system of notation, 
it is probable that music for a solo instrument was 
rarely written down, and that the hydraulus was played 
extempore. We know from sundry notices that the 
music must have been rhythmical, that it could be loud 
and soft, that modulations and changes of rhythm and 
tempo were frequent, that the execution was often 
exceedingly brilliant, and that six modes were used 1 : 
to to 

(The modern major scale.) 

(a) the hyperlydian, (b) the hyperiastian, (c) the lydian, 
(d) the phrygian, (e) the hypolydian, (/) the hypo- 

Harmony, in its modern sense of simultaneous 
sounds, was not employed, though it is not improbable 
that one note may have been occasionally held as a 
" drone," an effect which seems to have obtained on the 

1 Bellermann, Anonymi Scriftio de Musica, p. 36. The modes 
would be roughly represented (in their diatonic form) on the modern 
organ by octave scales of notes with the above signatures. 

3 B 

Story of Organ Music 

diaulos, or double pipe. But more than this could not 
have been used, for not only has Mr. Galpin's reproduc- 
tion of the hydraulus shown that the wind arrangements 
were not adequate for the playing- of chords, but there 
is abundant evidence that persons who have not been 
habituated to harmony from their earliest years, cannot 
tolerate it. Modern Europeans, of whatever 
nationality, have the feeling for harmony so 
engrained in them, after its cultivation for 
over a thousand years, that they cannot imagine a satis- 
factory form of music without it ; but its place and- 
name were taken in ancient music by variations of mode, 
of which there were seven. The seven "harmonies," or 
modes, could be transposed, and, under the 

names of chromatic, enharmonic, high, low, 

Harmony * ' ' 

etc., could suffer so many changes of pitch 

and tuning, that the supply of tone-material was 
practically inexhaustible ; and though these changes 
would have been very repulsive to modern European 
ears, they were most attractive to the ancients. Modern 
Byzantine music recognises between two and three 
hundred different kinds of scale, as opposed to our two 
forms of major and minor. The Rev. S. G. 
Differences Hatherly, in his Treatise on Byzantine Music, 

e ween specially warns his readers that they must 
Ancient ... . .. 

d M d n expect to obtain an exact reproduction 

Music ^ these scales on a pianoforte, and this 

warning may also be applied to ancient 
music. A fact that is generally lost sight of in con- 
nection with ancient and non-European systems is, 


Skill of Ancient Organists 

that ears unaccustomed to the restraints imposed by 
modern harmony can delight in all manner of variations 
in the relative intervals of the seven sounds contained 
in the octave, and this accounts for much that is usually 
looked upon as evidence of a barbarous, or, at best, 
undeveloped musical system. 

In addition to the expression, or, as the ancients 
would say, "colouring 1 ," given by changes of mode, 

genus, and tuning, there is evidence that 

.... * . , Ancient 

great rapidity of execution was used to D .,.. c 

Rapidity of 

ornament the melodic passages; probably Execution 
the art of the hydraulus passed through 
stages corresponding in some degree to those of the art 
of the modern organist, though it must not be forgotten 
that, at the time of its disappearance, the perfected 
hydraulus had reached a far higher age than its daughter, 
the church organ, has yet arrived at. Human nature 
does not change, and in all ages skilled musicians have 
naturally delighted in displaying their power for the 
admiration or astonishment of their audiences. That 
rapidity of execution was perfectly feasible on the 
hydraulus was proved when Mr. Galpin exhibited his 
model at the Musicians' Exhibition. 1 The keys were 
rather larger than ours, and, being all on one plane, 
without the landmarks provided by our black keys, were 
difficult to locate. But when once the " geography" of 
this ancient keyboard was mastered, rapid execution 

1 An Exhibition of Musical Instruments, Manuscripts, and Printed 
Books, held in 1904 by the Worshipful Company of Musicians at 
Fishmongers' Hall. 


Story of Organ Music 

was a matter of no difficulty, and the oft-quoted passages 
in ancient writers were confirmed by the new light shed 
on them. Thus Claudian : 

"Et qui magna levi detrudens murmura tactu, 
Innumeras voces segetis moderatus aenae, 
Intonet erranti digito, penitusque trabali, 
Vecte laborantes in carmina concitat undas." 

" Who, with a light touch, produces great sounds, calls 
forth with wandering finger the innumerable voices of 
the brazen crop, 1 and, through a beam-like lever within, 
rouses the labouring waters into song." Here we have 
not only an allusion to the power and variety of the 
sound, but also to the "wandering finger." With 
regard to the word penitus (within), Grabner suggests 
that it is a corruption far pedibus (with the feet), as to 
the blowing; but we prefer penitus, since, from the 
position of the blower, behind the instrument, the lever 
would appear to an outsider to be within it. 
In Julian's well-known epigram: 

'A.\\olrjv opdw dovdKuv <ptj<riv ' ffirov air' AXXjjs 
Xa\KflT)s rdx* ftSXhov avefiXdffTriffav dpovpijs 
"Aypioi, ovS' dt>4fju>iffu> v<f ^ler^pois dovtovrat 
'AXX' viro Tavpflys trpoOopuv (nr^Xfyyos 0777-775 
ytpOev (vrpriruv Ka\d/jLwv i>7rd plfav oSevti 
Kal TIS av-fip dytpwxos fx wt> Q& ddKTV\a xP^J 
"IffTarat dfj.<f>a<f>6wv Kavbvas ffvfj.<f>pd8fju)i>a.s avXuv 
OI 8' aira\bv ffKiprwvrfs, dTro6\t^ovaiv doior/if, 

1 I.e. of pipes, which are likened to standing corn, from their 


a reference is made to rapidity of execution. " I see a 
species of reeds: perhaps they have sprung" up wild on 
a strange brazen soil. Nor are they shaken by our 
winds, but a blast rushing 1 forth from a cavern of bull's- 
hide travels through the root of the reeds: and a highly- 
gifted man, with nimble fingers, touching' the con- 
cordant keys of the pipes, these, gently leaping 1 , utter 
their song 1 ." 

Cassiodorus, who flourished in A.D. 514, in his com- 
mentary on the i5oth Psalm, says: " Organum itaque 
est quasi turris quaedam diversis fistulis fabricata, 
quibus flatu follium vox copiosissima destinatur; et ut 
earn modulatio decora componat, linguis quibusdam ab 
interiori parte construitur, quas discipliniter magis- 
trorum digiti reprimentis grandisonam efficiunt et 
suavissimam cantilenam." Here again are references 
to loud and soft effects, and to the "interior" i.e. 
hidden from the audience keyboard. "The organ is 
an instrument formed into a kind of tower by its 
various pipes, which are made to produce a most 
powerful sound by means of bellows: and in order to 
express agreeable melodies there are, on the interior 
side, certain movements of wood, which, when pressed 
by the trained fingers of masters, produce both a 
magnificent sound and the sweetest cantilena." 

But all this gives us no idea of the kind of music 
that called forth so much admiration ; and it is probable 
that if we could hear it we should consider it insipid 
and meaningless: while, on the other hand, if the 
ancient Greeks or Romans could be present at a 


Story of Organ Music 

modern organ recital, they would find it monstrous and 
barbarous and offensive in the extreme; for a whole- 
some and happy provision of nature causes 
time, by process of destruction, to prevent 
the various periods of Art from becoming 

. . . a stumbling-block to generations who know 
cannot last , 
fo c c them not. It is impossible that the fleeting 

language of instrumental music can survive 
an immense period of time. The best instrumental 
compositions of any art-period continue to appeal to the 
cultivated classes for several generations after their 
first appreciators are dead; but even those works 
which we call classical are bound in course of time to 
become antiquated, and to find no response except for 
those few persons who, possessing a feeling of anti- 
quarianism, can project themselves mentally into a 
distant past. Great works of art in the domain of 
poetry are not so elusive as music, for they represent 
thoughts, of which the actual words or language are 
merely the vehicles, and if changes occur during 
the centuries in the pronunciation, or method of 
utterance, or even if translation from a dead to a living 
language is necessary, the intrinsic value of the poetry 
is not affected. But music exists for itself alone ; it is 
a "concord of sweet sounds," which to the unmusical 
person, or to him who has not cultivated the particular 
style of music performed, has no significance. This 
holds good not only with regard to the music of the 
times of the hydraulus, but also of periods very much 
nearer to our own. Hence we have no more right to 


Periods of Organ Music 

summarily condemn a new composition because it does 
not follow old methods of expression than we have to 
say that ancient music must have been poor stuff 
because it no longer appeals to us. 

We are living in a period with regard to organ music 
which may be said to have commenced in the first half 
of the eighteenth century. Great works of 
art are still being produced, which will Perl0{Is * 
probably continue for some generations to _ 

delight mankind before they, in their turn, j^ . 

give way to some new development of which 
we cannot possibly foresee the nature. The period 
preceding ours produced many works of art which 
were famous in their day, but have been, for us, over- 
shadowed by those of the great composers of the 
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, so that they now 
only appeal to antiquarians. This period may be 
said to have begun about the middle of the sixteenth 

The preceding period is represented by very scanty 
remains of organ music, of a kind that is utterly 
without aesthetic meaning to us, and its only interest is 
that it shows the first gropings after the art which we 
are considering. 

It began with Italian organists, and previous to the 
first decades of the fourteenth century we have no 
records whatever of the kind of music that was played 
on organs. 

It will be our endeavour to trace, with as few tech- 
nicalities as possible, the progress of organ music, 


Story of Organ Music 

by giving an account of the works of some of the more 
famous composers for that instrument. We cannot 
mention all, or nearly all the names of those who have 
been celebrated, nor is this necessary : what we have 
to do is to exemplify the various stages through which 
organ composition has passed. 




Necessity of form Dance music Early forms of organ music Music 
and architecture compared Harmony and counterpoint Rise 
of tonality Rhythm and popular music. 

IT was considered by some of the ancient Greek philo- 
sophers that a melody without words, played on an 
instrument, was meaningless, a mere succession of 
empty sounds, signifying- nothing. Instruments, they 
thought, were mere mechanical contrivances, invented 
to sustain the voice of the singer, apart from which 
they were worthless. 

The strenuous efforts of musicians to make instru- 
mental music something more than mere empty sound 
have resulted in the gradual evolution of 
certain "forms," the outcome of innumerable Necessity 
experiments, which give force and meaning 
to a composition, and without which all . 

instrumental music will inevitably partake Music 

of the nature of that condemned by Greek 

The earliest forms of organ music were undoubtedly 
those derived from rhythms connected with the dance ; 


Story of Organ Music 

for rhythm requires a less highly-developed intelligence 
than melody for its appreciation. But it was gradually 

found that dance rhythms were not entirely 
W, suitable for the organ, partly because of its 

incapacity of marking accent, but chiefly 
because from its earliest days it was so much used in 
the church. Dance music, however, has never been 
excluded from the church for any length of time. 
It is used at the present day in England, France, 
and Italy under the name of the march, and in music 
of the nature of the gavotte, minuet, etc. At the 

time of the Council of Trent (1583) the church 
Efforts to was ; n great perturbation about organ play- 
suppress ing , The council ordained that "the bishops 

must take care that the sound of the organ 
Music m 

Churches 1S not ^ ascivious anc * impure, . . . nor must 
worldly and frivolous music be used." 
Diruta, in his Transilvano, says that dance musicians 
are as a rule not very good on the organ, " and hence 
comes the prohibition of the Sacred Council of Trent, 
that church organs are not to be used for Passi e Mezzi 
and other dance music, nor for lascivious airs, because 
it is not convenient to mix sacred and profane things, 
and, moreover, the organ will not tolerate being played 
on by dance players. If it happens that they play on 
an organ, they play in a bad style; while organists, on 
the other hand, cannot properly play dance music. 
Hence it is best that neither tries to do the thing that 
he is not fitted for." 

Dance music, then, having been prohibited, or looked 

Early Forms 

upon with disfavour, the early organists, when they 
required to play lengthy pieces, had recourse to the 
most popular and well-known of the motets, 
madrigals, and other vocal compositions. 
At first they simply played the voice parts, 
but afterwards they embellished the parts 
with all kinds of ornamental passages, and a vocal 
composition, when thus treated, was said to be 
" colorato" i.e., coloured. 

But there arose early in the fifteenth century a form 
of milsTc called "Ricercar" (sought out), in which 
every kind of contrapuntal effect known to 
musicians of that day was introduced. Out 
of the Ricercar was afterwards developed the Fugue, 
and in the time of Praetorius the two terms were 
synonymous. Later on there was invented 
the " Canzona Francese," derived from the 
form of the French Chanson : it was a 
contrapuntal piece, of less elaborate construction than 
the Ricercar, and its first three notes were nearly 
always in this rhythmical form : j i"j Another, and 
still later, form was the "Toccata," from 
ioccare, to play : it was a brilliant prelude, 
in the form of an extempore performance, intended to 
exhibit the skill of the player, before he came to 
the serious work of the piece. "Toccate un poco" 
was formerly the Italian, and still is the Spanish 
equivalent for " Please play something." These were 
the chief of the early forms : of others we shall speak 
in due course. 


Story of Organ Music 

Instrumental music appeals in three ways to the 
listener : to his astonishment or admiration through 

the agility of the performer, to his in- 

. telligence through its scientific construc- 

Music ti n an d to his emotions through the 

sentiment that may be inherent in the com- 
position, or in the manner of its performance, and the 
best results are obtained by a happy combination of all 
three. If the first predominates or entirely excludes 
the others, the music descends to the level of a clever 
performance on a tightrope or any other gymnastic 
exercise which astonishes ; if the second only, the 
music is apt to be what is called dry, though this is 
not necessarily the case ; and if only the third feature 
is present, the music becomes mawkish and sickly. 
To be attractive, it stands to reason that both com- 
poser and performer must aim at beauty of melody and 

Vocal music may, and often does, rely on its words 
for its due effect, while instrumental music has to rely 
on itself alone. Beauty of tone, melodic worth, power 
of light and shade, exhibition of skill on the part of 
the performer, are common to both. 

Architecture has been called "frozen music," for 

there is a certain amount of analogy be- 

Architec- tween the construction of a work of musical 

art and a fine building. But architecture 
compared . .. 

M s' several advantages over music : tor in- 

stance, it is applied to buildings which have 
a definite purpose, apart from their claims to artistic 

Architecture and Music 

design. A temple, a church, a theatre, or a house, 
could all exist and be useful without any necessity 
for beauty of form, or any appeal to the aesthetic sense. 
The architect must see that the foundations are well 
laid, that the walls are upright, the roof able to keep 
out the sun and rain : there must be means of entrance, 
lighting-, and ventilating, etc. ; and only after all these 
features have been provided for in the scheme, is 
the designer able to apply the resources of his art to 
beautify the building and make it appeal in our sense 
of just proportion in its general form and in its orna- 

Again, when a work of architectural art is finished, 
it stands as a monument of the artist's skill, to be 
admired or criticised, or copied, until future genera- 
tions, having other requirements, destroy it, or leave 
it to neglect and consequent ruin, while they construct 
in its place other buildings which may, or may not, be 
of artistic design ; for art, as we have shown, is not a 
necessary part of a building, it is only an adjunct. 

Instrumental music, on the other hand, though 
constructed on the same principles in certain respects 
as artistic architecture, differs from it in that the 
appeal to the aesthetic sense is its whole raison d'etre: 
it serves no useful purpose apart from this. Except 
the military march, which enables soldiers to keep 
step, and the dance tune, which performs the same 
function for dancers (both of which forms of music are 
unsuitable for the organ), instrumental music has no 
right to exist unless it can give a reason for its 


Story of Organ Music 

existence by an appeal to some portion, however small, 
of mankind, through its aesthetic qualities. If it cannot 
do this, it becomes merely a nuisance. And since it 
can be of no use apart from any artistic qualities it 
possesses, it cannot be turned to other than its original 
purpose, as a building can, and in consequence it dis- 
appears when a new generation arises having other 
ideals of art. 

Another feature in which music differs from archi- 
tecture is, that the work of presenting a composition 
to an audience has to be undertaken by a performer, 
who may render it better or worse than the composer, 
but however conscientious and capable he may be, he 
cannot possibly eliminate his own personality, or give 
exactly the same rendering as the composer. Hence, 
compositions gradually become altered from their 
original conceptions, and, in addition to this, ancient 
examples become transfigured by the use of modern 
instruments; whereas architecture, "frozen music," 
standing unaltered for generations, entirely reflects the 
original ideas of its creator. 

Apart from the dance, the efforts of the earliest 
organ-composers were vague and formless, as was to 
be expected, and their style may be compared to the 
Archaic style of Greek sculpture, or the earliest efforts 
of Christian pictorial art. The old church modes, 
which were unsuitable for harmonic combinations, 
exercised their full sway over church composers, 
though the major scale had been recognised by lay 
musicians for centuries before the birth of the earliest 


Harmony and Counterpoint 

of the existing- remains of church organ music. The 
unsatisfactory effect of the modes led to their alteration 
by means of Musica Ficta, or the addition of unwritten 
sharps and flats during- performance, a curious survival 
of which is the modern practice of inserting- the 
necessary sharps or naturals in a minor key as 
accidentals, instead of at the signature; for our minor 
mode is nothing- more than the old seventh church 
mode, adapted to the use of harmony by means of 

Perhaps this will be a convenient place to describe, 
for the sake of the uninitiated, the difference between 
the modern art of Harmony and the more 
ancient art of Counterpoint. Harmony, in Harmon y 

its technical sense, is produced when a -, 

. . . , . Counter- 

melody is placed in the treble or tenor, or ooint 

any other part, and the remaining parts 
are subordinate, and form combinations of notes called 
Chords. The simplest forms of harmony are the 
ordinary chant, hymn-tune, and the accompaniment to 
a ballad. In the latter case, the harmony is usually 
"dispersed" by " breaking up " the chords. Counter- 
point is a combination of two or more melodies sung 
simultaneously; in former times composers were often 
more or less indifferent as to whether the melodies 
occasionally clashed and produced harsh combinations 
of sound as long as they themselves were effective, 
and many bold effects have been made by allowing 
the contrapuntal to override the harmonic element. 1 

1 As, for example, in Bull's piece, Appendix A, ex. 9. 

Story of Organ Music 

During the seventeenth century the desire for dramatic 
expression in music gave rise to a struggle between 
the old modes and the major scale, and between 
the old art of counterpoint, with its dry 
Defeat of an j unnecessary rules, and the free modern 
the Church aft of harmony w ; t h ; ts dramatic possibili- 
ties. The struggle ended in the complete 
defeat of the Modes, and an alliance between Harmony 
and Counterpoint, each modifying the other, with results 
which are seen in the masterpieces of all the great 
composers from Bach to Sir Edward Elgar. Organ 
music, being mostly confined to the Church, and there- 
fore not coming under dramatic influences so much as 
so-called " secular " music, has retained its contrapuntal 
character more than other music, and in modern times 
composers occasionally use the ecclesiastical modes with 
great effect, which is all the more powerful from the 
contrast they make with the major mode. 

With the advent of harmony, and its alliance with 

counterpoint, there arose a feeling for what is now 

. called Tonality, or Key, as a means of 

ona ity un ; t y o f composition. In the old Gregorian 
music this kind of unity was attained by making the 
reciting note the principal note of the key ; it was the 
"Mese" of Greek music, and since the melody was ruled 
by it, it was called the Dominant in church music. But 
the art of harmony dethroned it from its place of chief 
importance, and made the Key-note or Tonic the chief 
note of a scale, while it relegated the dominant to a 
secondary place. The dominant of the modes stood 


Tonality and Rhythm 

at various intervals in the scale ; the note which took 
its name, but not its function, in the new order of things 
stands at an interval of five notes above the tonic. 
After the dominant comes the Subdominant in import- 
ance: this note stands at the interval of a fifth below 
the tonic, and any succession of common chords on 
these three important notes establishes what is called a 

In old days the ear was satisfied with a single key, 
or at most two or three keys, in the course of a fairly 

longf composition; but as music has ad- 

., , Modulation 

vanced in complexity, more and more Modu- 
lations, or changes of key, have been introduced, though 
it is still one of the strictest rules of music that every 
composition shall end in the same key in which it 
began. 1 Modern composers do with complexity of key 
what the mediaeval composers did with complexity of 

Rhythm, or the division of melody into short, easily 
recognisable portions, by means of accent, is the struc- 
tural element of the details of a composition: 
Form is the structural element on the whole, Rhythm 
and is produced by contrast of key, and by a * orm 
the grouping of the various melodies in certain definite 
sections, marked by "closes," which answer to the 
punctuation of written language. A cultivated audience 
requires that the "form" shall not be too obvious, or 
it becomes wearisome: while an uncultivated listener 

1 Change of Mode from major or minor, or vice versa, is not counted 
as change of key under this rule. 

19 c 

Story of Organ Music 

prefers simple dance rhythms, and what old Morley, in 
his quaint way, calls "short-square-even and uniform 
ayres." This will help to explain why there has nearly 
always existed a "high" school of organ-playing-, 
contemporaneously with a commonplace, popular, ad 
captandum style, against which musicians and church- 
men have inveighed in vain. 

The organ is heard by the majority of civilised man- 
kind once or twice a week through the whole year. No 

other instrument is heard so much by so 
popular many, and it is only in accordance with 

human nature that organists should fre- 
quently yield to the temptation to please the uncultured 
majority rather than the cultivated minority, even if 
their natural taste is that of the minority, which is not 
always the case. Trivial and fashionable music has 
always existed and always will: it runs its course in a 
few years and then disappears, while music of a higher 
order is preserved. Our forefathers were not different 
from us in this respect, but we know them only by their 
best compositions, and are apt in consequence to look 
upon "the good old days" as a kind of golden age of 
music. There never has been a golden age in musical 
history; high -class and commonplace music have 
always co-existed, just as they do at present. 




Landino The several kinds of ancient organ Organs at St. Mark's, 
Venice Zucchetti Organum magnum and organum parvum 
Organist and organ-builder Sguarcialupo Willaert Buus The 
music at St. Mark's The earliest printed Italian organ music. 

MODERN organ-playing 1 began in Italy, and its first 
representative who became celebrated was Francesco 
Landino; he was born in A.D. 1325, and died 
in 1390, and was buried in the church of St. 
Lorenzo at Florence. A contemporary writer says of 
him: "The whole assembly is excited by his organ- 
playing, the young dance and sing, the old hum with 
him: all are enchanted. He draws wonders from the 
little organ: the birds cease their song, and in their 
astonishment draw near to listen, especially a night- 
ingale, which sits on a twig over his head and above his 
organ." 1 In those days the church organ was a clumsy 
and intractable machine, without stops, and with keys 
six inches broad, which had to be played with the fist 
such at least was the case in France, Germany, and 
England, and there is no reason to imagine that the 
Italian church organs were in advance of those of other 
1 See Sammelbandc der Int. Mus. Gesellschaft, vol. iii. p. 614. 

Story of Organ Music 

nations. The organ was used to accompany the plain- 
song in unison, and to attract the congregation to 
church by its noise, just as bells are used now: artistic 
playing was not possible, nor was it required, for the 
unlettered congregation would not have appreciated it ; 
but there is no doubt that they liked noise, provided 
there was plenty of it. 

It was not, however, on the organa magna that 
Landino made his fame, and he does not appear to have 
ever held an appointment as a church organist. But in 
the castles and courts of the aristocracy there were two 
kinds of organ, each with a practicable keyboard, such 
as can be seen in many of the paintings of the old 
Italian artists. The first of these was called the 
Positive, since, though it could easily be moved from 
place to place, it had to be placed in position for play- 
ing. It was often circular and tower-shaped, like the 
old hydraulus in form, and had sometimes two or more 
rows of pipes. 

The other kind of organ was smaller, and was placed 
on the knees, or hung from the neck of the performer, 
who blew the bellows with his left hand, and 
played the keys, which were few in number, 
with his right. The name of this instrument was in 
Italian Ninfale, and in other languages Portative. Its 
pitch was very high, owing to the small dimensions of 
its pipes. It is shown in many sculptures and paintings 
as a regular member of the church band of those days, 
amongst whose instruments were also included bag- 
pipes, dulcimers, stringed instruments both plucked and 



played with a bow, harps, various forms of wind instru- 
ments, and cymbals. 

A miniature in the Library of St. Lorenzo at Florence 
depicts Landino seated, playing- on a Ninfale, which 
rests on his knees, and this seems to have been the 
instrument by which he gained his reputation. At an 
early age he became blind through smallpox, and in his 
youth he sought for consolation in his affliction by sing- 
ing popular airs. Finding that he had great musical 
talent, he studied seriously, and was soon able to 
accompany himself on the Ninfale, besides which, he 
became expert on nearly all the other instruments in 
use at the time. He came of a noble family, and his 
father was a painter, for in those da'ys the cultivation 
of art was considered a worthy profession for the 
aristocracy; hence Landino was surrounded from his 
earliest years with culture and refinement, and it need 
not surprise us therefore to find that, like other 
musicians of those times, he was a famous poet and 
philosopher. From his blindness he was called " II 
Cieco," and from his skill on the organ he was given 
the name of Francesco degli Organi. 

In the year 1364 there took place a great festival at 
Venice, lasting many days, to celebrate the re-occupa- 
tion of Candia by the Venetians. Among 
the guests were the King of Cyprus, the F * st jv al at 
Archduke of Austria, Petrarch, and many 
exalted personages from far and near. Amongst those 
attracted to the festival was " II Cieco," whose fame 
was known throughout Italy, and an immense assem- 


Story of Organ Music 

blage gathered in the chapel of St. Mark to hear a 
contest on the organs between Pesaro the organist 
and the blind man. What the issue was is unknown, 
but it is recorded that the Doge, Lorenzo Celsi, 
crowned Landino with laurel, either on account of 
his skill as a poet or as an organist. 

From this account it would seem that there were 
playable organs in St. Mark's at this time: doubtless 
there were positives and portatives as well as organa 
magna. None of Landino's organ music has come 
down to us: probably he always played extempore. 
Some of his vocal works are preserved in the Library 
of St. Lorenzo at Florence, in a collection made by 
Sguarcialupo, from which extracts have been published 
by Kiesewetter. 1 Fe"tis found five Italian songs by him 
in the Royal Library at Paris. This collection was 
probably destroyed in 1870 by the Commune, but F^tis 
published one of the songs in modern notation in the 
Revue Musicale, 1827. He considers that these com- 
positions show a high standard of art, in advance of 
their time. 

There were, however, organists before Landino, but 

they seem not to have made any great mark as such : 

f the organ builder was of more importance 

than the player, and the two professions 

were usually combined at any rate in connection with 

church music. Thus Mistro Zucchetti built an organ 

in the grand-ducal chapel of St. Mark at Venice in 

1 R. G. Kiesewetter, Schicksale nnd Beschaffenhtit des weUlichen 
Gesanges, 1841. 



1318, and was appointed organist thereof. Moreover, 
this was not the first organ there, for the registers of 
the church show that he was paid ten ducats for having 
furnished a new organ, in place of the old one which 
was worn out. From another notice it would appear 
that the organ he built was a Positive, for fifty years 
later an organum magnum was ordered to be con- 
structed opposite the existing organum parvum. At 
this time the words " organaio " (organ-builder) and 
"organista" (organist) were synonymous. 

Zucchetti's successor at St. Mark's was Francesco da 
Pesaro, who is claimed by Caffi 1 to have beaten Landino 
in the contest mentioned above ; but we hear nothing 
more of Francesco da Pesaro, who probably was not 
known outside Venice. 

The next organist of repute was Antonio Sguarcialupo, 
who in 1435 was appointed to the newly-dedicated 
cathedral of Santa Maria at Florence. He, 
like Landino, was of noble family, and was 
distinguished for his general culture as well 
as his extraordinary playing of the organ, to hear 
which many persons flocked to Florence, even from 
distant countries. He held a post at the court of 
Lorenzo the Magnificent, but he lived with that prince 
more as a friend than a retainer; for, as we have seen, 
artists were held in high esteem in those days. It 
would seem that he held the posts of court and church 
organist at the same time ; and this was quite possible, 

1 Storia della Musita sacra nella gib Cappclla ducale di San Marco 
in P'enezia, 1854. 


Story of Organ Music 

for the church organ was now becoming sufficiently 
improved to be capable of artistic use. 

Sguarcialupo therefore would have a larger audience 
than Landino, as he could perform in the cathedral as 
well as at the court. So great was the respect in which 
he was held by his fellow-citizens that, in addition to his 
monument, they placed his bust in the church near the 
organ, "in memory of the excellence of the music he 
had produced on it." The inscription on his grave- 
stone, composed by the poet Angelo Poliziano, can still 
be read, and is quoted by Ambros; 1 while Lorenzo 
himself wrote a sonnet, in which he makes Death say, 
" I have taken him in order that Heaven may be made 
more joyful with his music." 

The organ, imperfect as it was, was evidently 
capable, in the hands of an artist, of moving cultivated 
persons to great admiration. 

Like Landino, Sguarcialupo left no compositions for 

the organ, and the earliest known printed organ music 

is a little book of organ tablature composed 

, by Marco Antonio di Bologna, dated 1523, 

and entitled Recerchari, Moteti, Canzoni. 
The first regular school of organ-playing in Italy was 
founded, not by an Italian, but by the Netherlanders, 
Adrian Willaert and Jachet Buus, who were respec- 
tively Maestro and Second Organist of St. Mark's at 
Venice. The musical arrangements at this church were 
so important and remarkable that it is necessary to 
describe them in some detail. Down to the year 1797 

1 Gttchichte der Musik. Edition of iPgi, Bd. iii. p. 482. 

St. Mark's, Venice 

Venice was a republic, governed by a Doge, or Duke, 
and a Council, chosen from among the nobility. This 
governing body early determined that the music in their 
grand-ducal chapel, now known as St. Mark's Cathe- 
dral, should be the best obtainable. The history of 
their music commences with the year 1318, when, as 
we have seen, they appointed Mistro Zucchetti to build 
and play on their organ. In addition to this, he had to 
train the choir, and to compose whatever music was 
required for special occasions. In 1389 a post of 
second organist was created in connection with the 
second organ, which, as we have seen, was erected 
about 1370. The duties and salary and official position 
of the newly-appointed organist were to be in all 
respects exactly similar to those of the first, and he 
was only called the second for convenience, since, like 
the consuls of ancient Rome, he was supposed to be 
equal in every respect with his colleague; and when a 
first organist died or retired, it was customary to 
appoint the second to play on the first organ, and 
a new player for the second. The organists were 
chosen with the greatest care, every effort being 
made to obtain the best possible musicians for the 
posts. They were nominated by the Procuratori, or 
Magistrates, the persons next in importance to the 
Doge, and the following rules were drawn up for their 
examination : 

" i. The book of the chapel is to be opened at random, 
and the commencement of a Kyrie or Motet to be 
copied out. The candidate has to play a properly 


Story of Organ Music 

constructed Fantasia on it, in which the parts must 
be kept clear, as if four singers were performing. 

" 2. The book of Plainsong is to be opened at random, 
and a Canto Fermo, or Introit, or something else, is to 
be copied out and sent to the candidate, who has to 
add three parts to it, placing the Canto Fermo in the 
bass, tenor, alto, and soprano, using fugal work, and 
not merely accompaniment. 

" 3. The singers must sing one verse of a little known 
composition, the style of which the organist must 
imitate in the same and other keys." 

The Procuratori, having heard the various candidates, 
proceeded to elect by vote. 

Having obtained their musician, it was not always 

easy to chain him to the monotonous work of daily 

( mass, etc., and in 1564 they were obliged 

Regulations to calj their org:an ; sts to account f or the little 

Q . . interest they took, often allowing young and 
inexperienced players to deputise for them 
at mass and vespers, while they themselves played 
elsewhere. A new regulation was made, imposing 
a fine of two ducats for every future dereliction of 
duty. The organists at this time were two famous 
men, Claudio Merulo and Annibale Padovano. But 
at the same meeting they passed a regulation to 
protect their organists in the exercise of their art, 
prescribing that no canon or priest is to interrupt the 
playing of the organ, but they must wait till the 
organist has finished his piece before proceeding 
with their part of the service, and a fine of one ducat 



is to be imposed on any priest who begins to sing 
before the organist has finished. 

In 1491 a maestro di cappella was added to the two 
organists : he was a more important person than they, 

with a higher salary, and his duties were to ^ 

. J Maestro di 

compose the music, tram and conduct the ,, 

choir and band, and be generally responsible 
for the music, while the duties of the organists were 
now merely to play. Later on a second maestro was 
appointed, with equal rank and similar duties to the 
first. The organists, if competent, were sometimes 
appointed to a vacant place as maestro. 

The two organs, which had formerly stood in two 
recesses on each side of the high altar, were, before the 
time of Willaert, removed to two galleries 

above the choir, and two smaller instru- r f nS ,t 
, '. , St. Mark's 

ments, for occasional use with the band, 

were placed in the recesses. No regular player was 
appointed for them, but a player was engaged for each 
occasion at a small fee. In addition to the two maestri 
and the two organists, there was of course the staff of 
singers and priests. 

Such then was the constitution of the chapel, whose 
music became famous throughout Europe, and of which 
the most eminent musicians were from time to time 
maestri and organists. 

Adrian Willaert, or Adriano, as he was usually called, 
was born about 1490, probably at Bruges. _. 
He was maestro at St. Mark's from 1527 
to 1562, and became famous not only for his organ- 


Story of Organ Music 

playing, but still more from his compositions and his 
use of double choruses, which were suggested to him 
by the arrangements of the chapel. He had a great 
reputation before his appointment, and had held several 
important posts in other countries. His salary was 
only seventy ducats 1 a year; but on account of the 
excellence of his services to the chapel, the improve- 
ments he introduced, and the genius he showed, the 
Procurator! gradually raised it to two hundred, and 
this was continued to his successors. 

Fe"tis gives a long list of his compositions, which are 
all vocal, with the exception of a collection of Fantasie 
e Ricercari, published by Gardano at Venice in 1549. 

In 1547 there appeared from the press of Gardano, 
Ricercari da cantare e sonare d'organo e altri stromenti^ 
f novamente posti in luce a quatro voct, by 

p- > Buus, organist of the second organ. There 

is a copy of this work in the State Library 
at Munich. The expression "da cantare" implies that it 
was not originally intended for the organ, but consisted 
of vocal works transcribed for the organ and other instru- 
ments. It was in score like many early organ works. 

In 1549, the year of Willaert's publication, Gardano 

also published Intabolattira d'organo di ricercari di 

M. Giacques Buus, organista dell' illnto. 

, Signoria di Venetia in San Marco. Jachet 


Buus was elected to the second organ in 

1541, after an unusually severe contest, in which the 

Doge commanded all the singers to be present, and 

1 A ducat was worth about five shillings in modern money. 


Earliest Organ Music 

to give their votes, since the Procurator! were so 
perplexed by the merits of a large number of candidates 
as to be unable to decide which to select. His salary 
was eighty ducats, but it is said that after some years 
he found this insufficient, and, making a pretext for 
obtaining four months' leave of absence, instead of 
returning, he took a post under the Emperor of Austria. 
So anxious were the authorities of St. Mark's to get 
him back that, contrary to their custom, they went 
to the length of ordering their ambassador at Vienna 
to treat with him. He agreed to return if they would 
make his salary two hundred ducats ; but this they could 
not do, so they proceeded to elect Jerome Parabosco 
in his place. Caffi, however, throws doubt on this 

The works mentioned above are the earliest collec- 
tions of organ music published in Italy. Willaert's 
work is very rare ; of Antonio's Recerchari and Buus's 
Intabolatura there are well-preserved copies in the 
British Museum Library. The first is printed on two 
staves of six lines each ; the second on staves of five 
lines for the right hand, and six for the left. They are 
regularly barred, and are so clear that they could, with 
a little practice, be played from by a modern organist. 
There is no part for the pedal, although this important 
feature had been introduced from Germany by Bernhard 
the German, one of the organists of St. Mark's in the 
previous century, and it must have been well known 
to the Flemish organists. 

Instrumental music was far behind vocal, and 

3 1 

Story of Organ Music 

Wasielewski 1 is perfectly justified in saying of the early 

Ricercari: "The impression they produce is essentially 

wearisome, dry, and monotonous. They are 

Impression generally of great length, and they sound 

_ f r y like troubled, uneasy successions of notes, 
\V orks 

wanting in contrast of subjects and strength 

of ideas; the eye is more satisfied than the ear." They 
usually consist of two lengthy florid fugal movements, 
in even time, between which is sandwiched a middle 
movement in triple time, in simple chords. A pecu- 
liarity of the organ music of this period is the use of a 
certain ornament, in various forms, of which this is one : 

It became known as the Grupetto in Italian, Brisde in 
French, Doppelschlag in German, and Turn in English. 
It usually marks a full close, and occurs so frequently 
as to become an irritating mannerism. 

Organ music was in its infancy: to us it sounds like 
the first efforts of a student who endeavours to string 
together little bits of counterpoint without the aid of a 
master; but that it did not appear thus to contemporary 
listeners is evident, from the admiration they expressed 
for the composers. Perhaps the composers were able 
to put more fire and verve into their extempore than into 
their written compositions. 

1 Geschichte der Instrumentalmnsik, p. 1 23. 
3 2 


Merulo Palestrina Gabrieli Popular tunes in church Diruta // 
Transilvano Toccatas Use of the stops Antegnati Italian 
organs and organists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 

COMPOSITIONS now began to flow rapidly from the pens 
of native Italian organists, especially those connected 
with St. Mark's. Claudio Merulo, whose real 
name was Merlotti, was born in 1533. He was 
a pupil of a French musician named Menon, and 
of Giralomo Donati, and became organist of Brescia 
Cathedral. At the age of twenty-four he was chosen 
out of ten competitors to fill the post of organist at the 
first organ at St. Mark's, in succession to Parabosco. 
In 1566 he established a music printing business at 
Venice, in which he published his own compositions 
and those of others, till 1571: he also built an organ, 
perhaps for recreation, of four stops, which was still in 
working order in 1867. His chief fame rests on his 
madrigals and motets. In 1579 he was selected from 
the many musicians then resident in Venice to compose 
music to a tragedy, on the occasion of a visit of Henry 
III. of France. In 1584 he took service under the 


Story of Organ Music 

Duke of Parma, who treated him with every considera- 
tion and honour until his death in 1604, when he was 
buried in the Cathedral of Parma, with all possible 
dignity. His published organ works are : 

1. Toccate d'intavolatura (Forgano di Claudia Merulo 
da Correggio, organista del sereniss. Signor Duca di 
Parma, etc. Rome, 1598. 

2. Toccate d'intavolatura tforgano, etc. Venice, 1604. 

3. Ricercari d'intabolatura d'organo, etc. Venice, 

4. Litaniae Beatae Mariae Virginis, octo vocum, cum 
parte organica. Venice, 1609. 

F6tis gives Merulo the credit of being the first to 
write original works for the organ, instead of merely 
transcribing vocal music, with the addition of 
ornamental passages. Ritter 1 quotes a Toc- 
cata ottavo tuono from the publication of 1604, 
Music . , 

and considers that Merulo shows an advance 

on its predecessors, in that, in place of long successions 
of equal notes, he varies the values, and makes his har- 
monic successions more artistic and less monotonous. 
The example he quotes in the eighth tone {i.e. in the 
key of G with the F sharp omitted) is of great length, 
and certainly exhibits a sort of feeling in the dark after 
something like modern harmonic progressions. As in 
all the instrumental music of that date, there are 
passages of imitation, which, after running through a 
few bars, seem to die of inanition, giving place to new 
ones which soon become exhausted in their turn. The 
1 Geschichte ctes Orgthpiels, by A. G. Ritter. 1884. 

The Early Toccatas 

varieties of note-values in the runs, which Ritter looks 
upon as an advance on the even runs of earlier works, 
seem to us to be far-fetched and forced, and only an 
enthusiast for ancient music could find the piece other 
than monotonous and helpless. These early composers, 
whose works are so unsatisfactory to us, 

accustomed as we are to the wealth of * r y 

. Organists 

modern resources, were the pioneers and 

builders of the great art of which we, in the Pioneers 
twentieth century, are reaping the benefit. 
Without their labours modern instrumental music 
could never have existed, and we cannot be sufficiently 
thankful to them for their toil in breaking new ground 
on which their successors could build. They were still 
under the influence of the modes, and one sees clearly 
the conflict between tradition and the new art of Har- 
mony to which their instinct was leading them. Now 
and then one meets with a harmonic progression which 
looks ahead into the future, and then, as if afraid of 
what he has done, the composer brings us back with a 
sudden shock to his own time. Take, for example, the 
opening bars of Merulo's toccata on the eighth tone: 
in App. A, ex. i, the original is shown on the two lower 
staves, and the underlying harmonic basis on the two 
upper staves. If we strip these few bars of their 
meaningless runs, we get a progression that is in per- 
fectly satisfactory modern harmony down to the middle 
of the fifth bar, where we are pulled up with a jerk and 
brought back to the sixteenth century. The composer 
has ventured too far from his mode, and must get back 

35 D 

Story of Organ Music 

to it at all costs : the modern method of preparing the 
mind and ear for the return by suggestive passages, 
gently hinting at and playing round the coming key, is 
of later invention. In the fourth bar we see an instance 

of the conflict between mode and kev. The 
Mode and , ,, , c ^ V . . 

harmony is in the key of D major, but the 

runs are in the eighth mode, transposed a 
fifth upwards: hence the note C is natural in the right 
hand and sharp in the left. The composer, in fact, did 
not dare to venture too far in the direction in which his 
genius was leading him. 

The great composer Palestrina (1514 or 1524-1594) 
left in manuscript a volume of Ricercari in the eight 

tones, a few of which have been published 

in modern collections. Some doubts have 
arisen as to their authenticity, but they show the hand 
of a master of the modes and of counterpoint. In that 
in the Lydian mode (the nearest approach to the modern 
major mode) there is modulation to the dominant and 
subdominant: Willaert and Buus had modulated to 
one or the other, but not to both in the same piece. 
This MS. is in the Liceo at Bologna. 

Amongst the foremost of those who strenuously 
endeavoured to advance the art of organ music were 

two remarkable men Andrea Gabrieli and 
Andrea and Giovanni, his nephew. Both were famous 

lovanni composers of every style in vogue; both 
Gabrieli ' 

were equally famous organists, and both 

held the coveted post of organist at St. Mark's. 

Andrea was born at Venice between 1512 and 1520, 




Story of Organ Music 

in the quarter called Canarreggio, or Canareo, his 
family, like those of so many famous musicians, being 
an ancient and noble one. He was a pupil of Willaert 
or Cipriano de Rore, or of both; after having served as 
a singer in the Grand-ducal Chapel of St. Mark, he was 
chosen second organist in 1566, which appointment he 
held till his death in 1586. Being one of the most 
eminent musicians of his day, he was commissioned by 
the Doge, in combination with his nephew Giovanni 
and the famous Zarlino, at that time Maestro of St. 
Mark's, to compose music for the reception of Henry 
III., who passed through Venice on his way from 
Poland to France. For the organ he composed: 

1 . Ricercari, composti e tabulati per ogiii sorte di stro- 
nienti da tasti. 1585. The Italian Tablature for "all 
sorts of keyed instruments," was simply our modern 
notation, with a five-line stave for the right hand and 
a varying number of lines for the left. 

2. // terzo libro di Ricercari, etc. 1596. 

3. Canzoni alia Francese, per sonar sopra istromenti 
da tasti. Venice, 1605. 

The last two collections were published after his 
death, and some of his compositions for keyed instru- 
ments are found in other collections. 

Giovanni Gabrieli, his nephew, was born at Venice in 

1557, and was a pupil of his uncle. In 1584 he was 

chosen for the first organ, in succession to 

Merulo, who had gone to Parma. Nothing 

is known of his life, which seems to have 

been entirely devoted to his art and his pupils, many of 


The Gabrielis 

whom became famous ; and he seems never to have left 
his native town. Having heard the effect of double 
choruses through Willaert's compositions, he went a 
step farther in this direction and composed for three 
choirs, the first consisting of basses, the second of 
tenors, and the third of sopranos. Other experiments, 
all of which were successful, have come down to us, 
and show that the praises bestowed on him by his 
contemporaries were fully justified. He died in 1612. 
Examples of his organ works are found in several collec- 
tions, and Fe"tis mentions in addition : 

Intonazioni 1 d'organo. Venice, 1593. 

Ricercari per Vorgano. Two books published at 
Venice in 1595. 

Besides these, Wasielewski 2 mentions 

Intonazioni d'organo, di Andrea Gabrieli e Giovanni 
Gabrieli. Venice, 1583. Containing eight intonations 
and four toccatas by Andrea, and eleven intonations by 

The compositions of the two Gabrielis have an 
important place in the development of organ music ; 
modelled on the Ricercari of Willaert and Buus, they 
show an advance on these in their fugal construction. 

1 Intonations are short preludes designed to precede the performance 
of the larger organ pieces used in the functions of the Roman Church. 
They are from five to twenty bars in length, and have the character of 
free improvisations. The intonations in this collection seem to have 
been written as models for young organists. They generally begin 
with a few chords, then break into toccata -like runs supported by 
simple harmonies. 

* Gesch. der Inst. musik, p. 146. 


Story of Organ Music 

A Recercar del primo tnono alia qnarta alta (i.e. the 
so-called Dorian tone, transposed a fourth upwards) 
begins with a regular exposition of the subject in 
accordance with modern rules, but after this the 
subject never recurs in the inner parts. (See ex., 
App. A, No. 2.) In the middle there is a good ex- 
ample of "Augmentation" of the subject, a favourite 
device of fugue writers of all ages, with a new secondary 
subject playing round it. 

A Ricercare in the tenth tone by Giovanni is far 
more florid. (See App. A, ex. 3.) In the course of 
the work a bright new subject enters. (App. A, ex. 4.) 
This, after being worked up fugally for a time, is 
combined with the principal subject to the end. 

It was not unusual for church music of all kinds to 
be founded on popular melodies : whole Masses were 
composed with such tunes running through 
Popular them, and were called after the tune, such 
Melodies as <Missa L'homme arme," " Missa 
in Church . . 

Music Faysans regres ; and this was one of 

the abuses objected to by the Council of 
Trent. Organ music naturally was subject to the same 
influences. Ritter quotes a " Fantasia Allegra del 
duodecima toni," by Andrea Gabrieli, founded on a 
popular French chanson by Crequillon, 1 of which the 

1 Crequillon, one of the most prolific and popular composers of his 
day, was a Belgian ecclesiastic, chapel-master to Charles V., and a 
contemporary of Willaert. Amongst his compositions are several 
books of chansons for four voices. Solo songs were not recognised by 
learned musicians, and were only sung by the unlearned. 



constantly recurring- subject is given in App. A, No. 5. 
This little tune frequently occurs in various shapes in 
other compositions, showing that it was very popular 
at the time. Andrea's Fantasia allegra on it, is in its 
first portion a regular fugue, and the latter part is 
overladen with semiquaver passages which, to the 
modern ear, sound as if they were introduced more for 
the purpose of running about the keyboard than for 
their musical value. The piece would be very difficult 
to play, and there is no doubt that players of keyed 
instruments were possessed of brilliant execution in 
their own style of music. 

Girolamo Diruta, born at Perugia about 1560, was 
organist of the cathedral of Gubbio, but, being dis- 
satisfied with the principles of fingering he 
had been taught in his youth, he gave up 
his appointment, and obtaining the post of organist at 
the cathedral at Chioggia, near Venice, he placed him- 
self under the instruction of Merulo. How satisfactory 
to both master and pupil this arrangement became we 
learn from Merulo's own words, written in 1598: "And 
it is to my infinite glory that Diruta was formed by me 
(sia stato mia creaturd), since he has done himself and 
me the greatest honour by his genius." It is not 
known when Diruta died. He was the author of 

// Transilvano : Dialogo sopra il vero modo da sonar 
Organi e istromenti da penna, del R. P. 
Girolamo Dintta perugino, organista del ~ 

duomo di Chioggia, net quale facilmente 
c presto s'impara di conoscere sopra la Tastatura il 

Story of Organ Music 

luogo di ciascuna paret, e come nel Diminuirc si deueno 
portar le mani, e il modo d'intendere la intavolatura ; 
provando la verita e necessita delle sue Regole con le 
Toccate di diver si eccellenti organisti paste nel fine del 

Opera nnovamentc rifrovata, utilissima c ncccssaria a 
professori d'organo. 

(" II Transilvano : a dialogue on the true method of playing 
organs and quilled instruments (i.e. harpsichords, etc.), by the 
Reverend Father Girolamo Diruta of Perugia, organist of the 
Cathedral of Chioggia : in which work a knowledge of every- 
thing connected with the keyboard is easily and rapidly taught. 
Also how to use the hands in Diminution, and the method of 
understanding the Tablature, proving the truth and necessity of 
the rules given, by examples of Toccatas by divers excellent 
organists, which are placed at the end of the book. A work 
newly made, most useful and necessary to professors of the 

"Diminution" here means the ornamentation of a 
subject by rapid notes. The book is dedicated to 
Sigismond Batori, Prince of Transylvania, hence its 
name. Like all instruction books of the period, it is 
in the form of a dialogue, with a long opening speech, 
in which the author thanks the goodness of God that 
he has reached Venice, where he can hear the sweetest 
concerts and the most harmonious songs. After 
several pages in this strain, he comes to the point, 
explaining the musical alphabet, as applied to the 
Guidonian Hand (not, as we should expect, the 
Guidonian syllables, nt, re, mi, etc.). Then the clefs 

4 2 

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Story of Organ Music 

and values of the notes are explained, and " Mutation " 
by means of accidentals. The keyboard is shown by 
means of a stave of fourteen lines to be from C to A, 
three octaves and a sixth. Then follow rules for play- 
ing the organ "with gravity and ease": the organist 
must sit before the middle of the keyboard, and must 
not make unnecessary movements, but must hold him- 
self upright, and in a graceful position, etc. The 
fingers must be placed equally above the keys, but 
somewhat bent, and the hand must not be stiff: the 
fingers must press and not strike the keys. To the 
rules for fingering he attaches great importance. The 
scale is to be played by the fingers alone, without 
the thumb, which is only to be used in a " salto cat- 
tivo " i.e. a leap from an accented to an unaccented 
note. Scale passages with more than one or two black 
notes were never used in those times, and the prejudice 
against the thumb remained till J. S. Bach brought 
about a revolution in the whole method by making his 
pupils use the thumb equally with the other fingers. 

On page 15 he gives an interesting example of 

" Falso Bordone " i.e. simple four-part harmony, 

written on two staves (of five and eight 

lines respectively), the right hand playing 

the soprano and alto, the left the tenor and 

bass, as in the form now called " Short Score." On 

page 19 he gives the rules for fingering the "Tremolo," 

which is what we call the Shake ; and this is followed 

by a number of toccatas, by the various composers, 

including Diruta himself; the two Gabrielis; Luzzasco 


" II Transilvano " 

Luzzaschi, organist of the Cathedral of Ferrara, praised 
by Merulo as the greatest organist of his day; Antonio 
Romanini, a pupil of Andrea Gabrieli, and an un- 
successful candidate in 1586 for the second organ at 
St. Mark's ; Paulo Quagliati, a distinguished Clave- 
cinist and composer of the Roman school ; Vincenzo 
Bellhaver, a native of Venice, who succeeded Andrea 
Gabrieli at the second organ in 1586; Gioseffo Guami, 
who was born at Lucca about 1545, was organist 
at the Chapel Royal at Munich, succeeded Bellhaver, 
who died in 1588, and is described by Zarlino as 
"Guami suonator d'organi suavisstmo." All 
these toccatas have a family likeness. 
They begin with a bar or two of simple chords and 
then proceed to runs in rapid notes, alternating between 
the two hands, and sustained by chords with the hand 
that does not happen to be occupied with the runs 
(p. 37). The grupetto, or turn, is perpetually recurring. 
A toccata by Luzzaschi on the fourth tone has a certain 
dignity in its opening bars of harmonic progressions: 
after this it proceeds in runs of quavers and semi- 
quavers, like the rest. 

A second part was published to // Transilvano in 1609. 
It contains Ricercari and Canzone alia Francese by 
Diruta and Giovanni Gabrieli ; Antonio Mor- 
taro, a Franciscan, born at Brescia, organist Second 
of the cathedrals of Ossaro and Novara, then ** art * 

H Tf T 

of the convent of his order at Milan, and "," 

finally at the Franciscan convent of his 

native town, where he died in 1619; Luzzaschi; 


Story of Organ Music 

Gabrieli Fattorini, a composer of Faenza ; Adriano 
Banchieri, a composer and theorist, born at Bologna in 
1567, a pupil of Guami, organist of the Cathedral of 
Lucca, and afterwards of St. Mark's, a prolific writer, 
and composer in all the known styles. Finally, there is 
a number of short four-voice movements, for the hymns 
and the Magnificat. 

This book contains the following directions for 
registering, which we give in the English equivalents 
for convenience: "For the First Tone, 
Directions W j 1 ; c j 1 requires full-sounding harmony, 1 the 
. Double Open Diapason, the Open Dia- 

pason, and the Flute or Principal. To 
give expression to the melancholy feeling of the 
Second Tone, the Double Open Diapason and 
Tremulant are required. The mournfulness of the 
Third Tone can best be expressed by the Double 
Open Diapason and the Flute of eight feet. 
The Fourth Tone requires a gloomy and dejected 
harmony. The same registers are suitable as for the 
Second. The moderate gaiety of the Fifth Tone 
requires Open Diapason, Fifteenth, and Flute. The 
Sixth Tone, which excites devotion, should be used 
with Double Diapason, Open Diapason, and Flute. 
Bold and tender is the effect of the Open Diapason, 
Fifteenth, and Twenty-second ; this combination will 
therefore be chosen for the Seventh Tone. To express 
the free and agreeable effect of the Eighth, the Flute, 

1 The word harmony is used here, and in other contemporary 
writings, in the sense of quality of tone. 



or Flute and Open Diapason, or Flute and Principal, or 
Flute and Fifteenth are the most suitable combina- 

These directions give a curious picture of Italian 
organs, and the tyranny of the ecclesiastical tones. 

Costanzo Antegnati, born at Brescia in 1557, was 
one of a family whose members had for many genera- 
tions been almost exclusively organ-builders 
and organists. He was himself the builder 
of the organ, and organist of the cathedral of his native 
town. In 1619 he was struck with paralysis, and, 
being no longer able to exercise his profession, his 
fellow-citizens gave him a pension, on account of his 
services to their town. He published collections of 
Motets and Masses, Hymns in tablature for the 
organ, Ricercari, and an instruction book called L'Arte 
Organica; Brescia, 1608. It was also published in the 
same year at Venice, under the title of L'Antegnata 

This work, after a preface, gives a list of one hundred 
and thirty-five organs built by the house of Antegnati. 
Then, in the usual dialogue, the father 
teaches the son the excellence and utility , f, 

of the art of playing the organ, and the care 
he must exercise to tune a strange organ before playing 
on it, and he gives directions for tuning which would 
hardly satisfy modern requirements. The rest of the 
work is occupied with instructions for the use of the 
stops, which are interesting if read in connection with 
those of Diruta, as they give a picture of the disposition 




- D E R I C E R C A R I D : O R G A N o, 



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I N V E N H T- I A . 


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An Italian Organ 

of Italian organs at the time. Antegnati describes 
his own organ at Brescia. It had twelve stops, with no 
reeds or mixtures. The "Principal" is 

T* f ' 

of 16 feet, but there is a second Principal 

of 32 feet, "spezzato" that is to say, 
"divided" between the manual and pedal in such 
a way that the lowest two octaves sounded with the 
pedal, and the manual acted on the same pipes, but 
began at the i6-feet instead of the 32-feet pitch. He 
says that in the organ at Milan there is a stop which 
he has not got at Brescia, called Fiffaro, or Vox 
Humana, evidently a reed stop. 1 This, he says, on 
account of its soft harmony, must only be used in 
combination with the Principal of 16 feet; no other 
stop may be added, since it would make everything 
sound out of tune; moreover, it must be played more 
slowly and legato than the full organ. 
His Brescia organ consisted of: 

1. Principal (open diapason) . . . 1 6 feet. 

2. Principal spezzato (described above) . 32 

3. Ottava (open diapason) ... 8 

4. Quinta decima .' . " '. . -4 

5. Decima nona 2, 2/3 

6. Vigesima seconda .... 2 

7. Vigesima sesta i, 1/3 

1 Reed stops, which were invented in Germany about a century 
before, and had become a regular feature of German organs, seem to 
have been still a rarity in Italy. They were very faulty and difficult 
to tune. 


Story of Organ Music 

8. Vigesima nona I 

9. Trigesima terza 2/3 

10. Vigesima seconda, No. 2 ... 2 

1 1. Flauto in quinta decima ... 4 

12. Flauto in ottava 8 

From this specification it will be seen that the Italian 
organ-builders did not seek variety of tone, or harmony, 
as they would call it, so much as a building- up of 
diapason work from the 32-feet pitch through octaves 
and fifths, to the highest the ear is capable of receiving. 
The only change possible from diapason work was in 
the two flute stops, which were probably of wood, and 
if they were anything like some of the flute stops we 
have heard and played on in modern Italian organs, 
they would have a full, round tone of extreme beauty 
which commands attention whenever heard. 

For the use of the stops Antegnati gives the follow- 
ing suggestions: "The Ripieno (full organ) is to consist 
of Nos. i, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; the other stops 
Manage- are to ^ e reserve j f or special effects. Nos. 
3, 5, 10, and 12 are to be used in combination, 
to imitate the Cornetto. 1 No. 12 is to be 
used as a solo stop. Nos. 3 and 12 are to be used in 
combination for Diminution and for the performance of 
Cansoni Francesi, The same two stops, with the 
addition of the tremulant, can be used for Cansoni 
Francesi) but in this case there must be no Diminution 
i.e. rapid passages. Nos. 12 and 2 can be used in a 
dialogue between manual and pedal. 

1 A kind of mixture stop, formerly very popular. (See note, p. 203.) 


Character of Italian Organ Music 

It is evident that the Italian organists made few, if 
any, changes of register during performance, and that 
they rather trusted to their rapidity of execution and 
command of counterpoint to produce these effects 
which were so admired by their contemporaries. The 
Italians have never encouraged the building of enor- 
mous organs, such as one finds in the more northern 
countries and in Spain. Refinement and delicacy of 
touch is more in keeping with Italian character than 
the rough vigour and delight in the power of sound 
which characterises much of the musical art of Ger- 
many and Holland, where the climatic conditions, by 
forcing a constant struggle with powers of nature 
unknown in a country surrounded by the Mediter- 
ranean, has its effects on the national character, and, 
through it, on the national art. 

Other Italian organists who attained to more or 
less celebrity in the sixteenth century were: 

Antonio Valente, surnamed Cieco, since he was 
blind, a Neapolitan, who published at 
Naples, in 1580, Versi spirituali, sopra tutte Sixteenth- 

le note, 1 con diversi Capricci. per sonar ~ 

r Organists 

negh orgam. 

Ottavio Bariola, organist of the Church of the 
Madonna di S. Celso in Milan, published Ricercate per 
suonar Forgano, 1585; Capricci, owero Canzoni a 4, 
1594. His works are in the style of Merulo, and these 
two composers are said by Ritter 2 to be the first to 
publish Capriccios. 

1 I.e. in all the tones. 2 Geschichte des Orgehpieh,. p. 16. 

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Noted Italian Organists 

Giovanni Matteo Asola, or Asolo, born at Verona, a 
priest and composer, of whose works Fe'tis gives a list. 
It is not known what musical post he held. 

F. Maschera, or Mascara, organist at Brescia, and a 
distinguished violist ; said to be one of the first to play 
Canzoni alia Francese on the organ. 

Sper' in Dio Bartoldi, or Bartoldo, organist of the 
Cathedral of Padua, a native of Modena, born 1530; 
composed Toccate, Ricercari, e Canzoni Francesi in 
tavolatura per I'organo, 1561. 

Giovanni Maria Trabacci, organist at the Chapel 
Royal of Naples ; published at that city Ricercari per 
Vorgano Libra I., 1603; Libra II. , 1615. There is a 
copy of the second book in the British Museum ; it con- 
tains one hundred versi or short pieces on the eight 
ecclesiastical tones. The music is in score, of five 
lines to each stave, and is intended "for all kinds of 
instruments, but more especially for the cimbalo 
(harpsichord), because the cimbalo is the signer of 
all the instruments in the world." 

Giacomo Brignoli, born about 1550, examples of 
whose compositions are scattered through the collec- 
tions of the early decades of the seventeenth century. 
No details of him are known. Ritter quotes a Canzona 
Francese by him from Schmid's collection of 1607, 
which is in the key of C, with regular modulations 
to related keys, and a wonderful freedom from modal 

Other organists there must have been in plenty, 
whose names are lost. The number of cathedrals and 


Story of Organ Music 

the innumerable churches existing in every Italian town 
must have required a legion of organists to serve them, 
and it is scarcely likely that the majority of these 
organists abstained from attempting composition for 
their instrument. 




Frescobaldi Directions for the proper performance of his music 
Rossi Fasolo Other Italian organists of the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries. 

AT the beginning of the seventeenth century we meet 
with a genius whose organ music, breaking away from 
the bondage of the modes and from former 
traditions, soars to a region of its own in a Frescobaldi 
romantic idealism which seems almost to 
forestall the nineteenth century. Vocal music had, 
as early as the eighth and ninth centuries, been capable 
of expressing human emotions and aspirations; and 
though it lost this power during the constructive period 
of counterpoint, it had regained it with compound 
interest many generations before the time we are 
speaking of. But the constructive period of instru- 
mental music was still in progress, and it was Giralomo 
Frescobaldi, a native of Ferrara, who first gave the 
power of expression to organ music. His contrapuntal 
subjects are vigorous and forcible; his harmonies, 
though sometimes crude and far-fetched, often have a 
romantic imagination that must have astonished the 


Story of Organ Music 

hearers, and the whole of his work, even when it 
results in unsuccessful experiments, bears the stamp of 
masterful and conscious genius. He allowed himself 
to be hampered by none of the old rules: he was a 
freethinker in his art, and did not scruple to let it be 
known. "Whoever can understand me," he wrote 
over one of his pieces, "let him do so; I understand 
myself." Over another: "He who can play this 
Bergamasca will have learned not a little." The date 
of his birth is unknown: the years 1601, 1591, and 
1580 have been given by various authors. Ritter 
considers that it must have been 1580, for his first book 
of madrigals, published in 1608, shows the hand of a 
master, not that of a boy or a youth of seventeen. His 
teacher was Francesco Milleville, a celebrated organist 
of French origin living at Ferrara; but doubtless his 
own genius taught him more than any master, for he 
seems to have followed his instincts, regardless of 
precedent. Baini relates that 30,000 listeners as- 
sembled in St. Peter's at Rome when he first played 
there, in 1614, so great was his fame. About this time 
he was appointed organist of St. Peter's, in succession 
to Ercole Pasquini, who was also a native of Ferrara, 
and a pupil of Milleville, though senior to Frescobaldi. 
Very few details of his life are known, and even the 
date of his death is unrecorded. It is said to have been 
about 1644, since a collection of his Canzoni was 
printed by Vincenti on December i5th, 1645, with the 
remark that they were published immediately after the 
death of the composer; but this is contradicted by the 



fact that Froberger became his pupil in 1650 or 1651. 
Perhaps a solution of the difficulty may be found if we 
imagine that Vincenti's 1645 is a misprint for 1655. In 
his youth he was a fine singer, and it is said that 
musical amateurs used to follow him from town to 
town to hear him. He is also said to have sojourned 
several years in the Netherlands. His first work was 
published at Antwerp by Phalesio in 1608, and in the 
same year he must have gone to Milan, for // Primo 
Libra, Fantasie a due, tre, o quattro is dated Milano, 

For keyed instruments he published: 

Recercarie Canzoni Franzese , fatte sopra diversi oblighi 
in partitura. Roma, 1618. Organists and cembalists 
were frequently obliged to play from score (partitura), 
or to reduce the parts to tablature i.e., notation on 
two staves. 

Toccate e Partite d'intavolatura di cembalo. Rome, 
1615. The same music was generally intended in- 
differently for the organ or for any keyed instrument : 
of this we have seen instances before. This work was 
engraved on copperplates. The right-hand stave has 
six lines, the left eight, and is therefore more difficult to 
read than earlier organ tablature, and, curiously enough, 
a many-lined tablature was continued in Italy till the 
end of the seventeenth century. 

Toccate d'intavolatura di cembalo cd organo, partite di 
diversi arie , correnti, balletti, ciacone, passacaglie. Rome, 
1637. This is a reprint of the last work, with twenty- 
five additional pages of music. 


Story of Organ Music 

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// secondo libro di Toccate, Canzoni) Versi d'inni, 
Magnificat, Gagliarde, Correnti, ed altri Partite 
d 1 intavolatura di Cembalo ed Organo. Rome, 1616. 
From this Hawkins quotes a canzona in vol. iv., p. 176. 

// primo libro delle Canzoni a i, 2, 3, 4, voci, per 
sonare, o per cantare con ogni sorte di stromenti. Rome, 
1628. This was published in parts, but Grassi, a pupil 
of Frescobaldi, published it in score, without words. 

In Partitura, il secondo libro delle Canzoni, a i, 2, 3, 4, 
voci. Per sonare con ogni sorte di stromenti. This is 
mentioned by Gerber, but was unknown to Fetis. 

Fiori musicali di Toccate, Kyrie, Canzoni, Capricci, e 
Ricercari, in partitura a quattro per sonatori. Roma, 


In several cases these works were reprinted in other 
towns, a strong" evidence of their popularity. Examples 
of Frescobaldi's works are found in several 
modern collections of ancient music for p 
example, in Franz Commer's Sammlung der , -,.," 
besten Meistenverke des 1 7 und i SJahrunderts. Music 

Ritter, in his Geschichte des Orgelspiels, 
quotes two toccatas, two capriccios, and a canzona. 
Some of these have an independent pedal part, and in 
this, as in all other respects, they are in advance of the 
compositions of the Venetian school. 

Like his predecessors, Frescobaldi used popular 
tunes for some of his pieces. Ritter mentions fourteen 
Partite, or variations on a tune called "La Romanesca," 
eleven on "L'Aria di Monicha," ten on an air by 
Ruggiero, six on "La Follia," a subject which was 


Story of Organ Music 

some sixty years later treated by Corelli for the violin. 
He also made a toccata arrangement of a madrigal, 
Ancidetemi pur, by Arcadelt; that is to say, the voice 
parts are passeggiato by florid work. 

One of the toccatas, in which the rhythmical compli- 
cations are excessive, has the superscription, " Non 
senza fatica hi giunge al fine," to which Ritter adds the 
remark that the player will agree with the composer as 
to the labour of arriving at the end of it. 

The Fiori Miisicali of 1635 are printed in score, in 
order to be available for in- 
struments other than the 
organ, such as viols, etc. 
They are mostly for church 
use. A ricercare in this col- 
lection contains one of those 
inartistic tricks of which 
musicians were so fond in 
those days. It is in five 
parts, four of which are to 
be played, and the fifth 
sung or hummed by the player. 

Frescobaldi gave directions as to the execution of his 
toccatas, which were by no means to be played in strict 
time: he allowed himself every freedom with 
the tempo, as he did with the harmony. 
Words of expression were not yet used for 
keyed instruments, though they were being 
introduced into lute music, and the only 
means of indicating what was required was by rules 






given in print, or by the instructions of a competent 
master. Our composer wishes the tempo of his toccatas 
to be sometimes slower, sometimes faster. The open- 
ing bars are to be played slowly and arpeggiando, and 
the general tempo is to be taken at any point the player 
likes. The note at the end of a shake or a rapid 
passage is to be lengthened, in order to divide one 
phrase or one " passage" from another. He is careful 
about the execution of a shake : if it is accompanied by 
a passage it is not to be played "note against note"; 
but the shake is to be played as quickly as possible, and 
the passage quietly and with expression. In such 
passages as this: 

the second semiquaver is to be slightly dotted that is to 
say, slightly retarded. In order to produce brilliancy 
in rapid passages for both hands together, a slight 
delay should be made on the last note before they begin, 
and they should then be played as quickly as possible. 
There should be a strong rallentando before the closes, 
and a still stronger one before the final close of the 
movement. Toccatas which contain no passages can 
be played in quicker time than others ; but in all these 
cases, as also in passacaglias and chaconnes, the 


Story of Organ Music 

variations of time must rest on the good taste and 
refined judgment of the player. 

We see in all this an effort after what is called 
expression, as opposed to mere skill in complicated 
counterpoint and rapidity of finger-work. With 
Frescobaldi, Italian organ music may be considered to 
have reached its zenith, and it was soon to be over- 
shadowed by the great German school, whose repre- 
sentatives, after learning all they could from the Italians, 
enlarged the scope of their instrument, and continued 
the work so well begun in Italy. 

Michael Angelo Rossi, one of Frescobaldi's best 

pupils, published at Rome in 1657 Intabolatura d'Organo 

. e Cembalo, and there is a MS. collection of 

his toccatas in the British Museum (Add. 

MSS., 24,313). There is plenty of vivacity in his work, 

and a peculiar love of very close imitations. The 

MS. collection is interesting, as it contains a well-known 

toccata by Purcell, without the composer's name being 


Other Italian organists of the seventeenth century 

Giovanni Battista Fasolo, a Franciscan, born at Asti, 

who is only known by his Annuale che contiene tutto 

quello che deve far un organista per risponder 

al coro tutto I' anno. Op. 8, Venezia, 1645. 

This was intended as a help to organists in the daily 

services throughout the year. It contains the Te Deum, 

hymns, Magnificats in the eight modes, ricercari, 

canzoni, and fugues, as concluding voluntaries. Being 


Canzon Seconds . 





Story of Organ Music 

for church use, it is strictly in the modes, and chromatic 
passages and far-fetched harmonies are avoided. The 
Magnificat in the seventh mode is transposed a fifth 
upwards, and given the signature of two sharps F and 
C, and is said by Ritter to be probably the oldest 
example of this signature. The pedal is not used in any 
part of the book, which is curious in music published at 
Venice, where the pedal is supposed to have been first 
introduced into Italy. 

In or about the year 1700 there was published by 
Giulio Cesare Aresti, organist of the Cathedral of 

Bologna, a collection of Senate da Organo, di 
Aresti .. . , . . . , , 

varn auton, containing pieces by many whose 

names are hardly known, except through this work. 
Amongst the more important of those represented are: 

Giovanni Battista Bassani, born 1657 at Padua, 
Maestro of the Cathedral of Bologna from 1680 to 1685, 

when he went to Ferrara, and remained till 
Bassani ..,., TT _* 

his death in 1715. He was a violinist as 

well as organist, and is best known as the master of 
Corelli. His sonata in Aresti's collection is a kind of 
solo, such as might be written for the violin, with 
accompanying harmonies, and some pedal notes, which, 
however, are merely duplicates, at an octave lower, of 
the basses of the left hand. This is the first piece of 
its kind: it is not written for two keyboards, as 
one might expect, and the right hand takes as 
much part in the accompaniment as the left. It 
is in the key of F. It modulates at the sixth bar to 
the dominant, then goes through the keys of C minor, 



G minor, B flat, D minor, A minor, B minor, G major, 
and then through the dominant back to the principal 
key. The "circle of keys" was known by this time, 
and composers were eagerly waiting for a satisfactory 
method of tuning keyed instruments. 

Michelo Giustiniani, a monk of Monte Cassino, writes 
an independent pedal part in the first eight bars of his 

sonata. This piece is in three movements, _. 

... _ ' . , . c , . , Uiustimam 

consisting of an introduction, a fugal quick 

movement, and a slow finale, in which the principal 
subject appears in triple rhythm. Giovanni Paolo 
Colonna, who contributes two fugues to the collection 

(though they are called sonatas by Aresti), 

~_, f , c u i Colonna 

was the founder of a music school at 

Bologna, in which the famous Buononcini, the rival of 
Handel, was trained. Aresti himself contributes to his 
collection a very fine Elevaztone sopra il Pange Lingua, 
which is quoted by Ritter; also a Fuga cromatica and a 
Sonata plena. In the Elevazione the melody of Pange 
Lingua is carried through in the uppermost part, 
accompanied by a moving bass, and powerful har- 
monies. After a close in D minor, the opening 
portion of the tune is worked through all the parts in 
imitation, and there are " passages" for the right hand 
against a well-constructed bass. After another close in 
D minor, there is a short movement in 3-2 rhythm, 
such as frequently concluded a composition in those 
days : it has no thematic or other connection with the 
bulk of the work, and is probably there because it was 
the custom to end in this way. 


Story of Organ Music 

The collection, though it was published when Aresti 
was seventy years old, which would be about 1700,* is, 
curiously enough, printed in a more puzzling kind of 
tablature than the works of Buus and Diruta ; for its 
right-hand stave has five to eight lines, and its left 
seven to eight. The right hand plays from the treble 
or the soprano clef, and the left hand from the C and F 
clefs on the same stave. A modern organist might 
possibly play with a little practice from the Italian 
organ tablature of 1547, but it would take him a very 
long time to master that of a century and a half later. 
There was not yet a consensus of opinion as to the 
proper way of writing organ music: each composer did 
what he liked, and there was an occasional reversion to 
antiquated methods. 

Other famous organists were : 

Alessandro Poglietti, Court organist of Vienna from 
1661 to 1683, who published some canzonas, toccatas, 
and recercari. 

Luigi Battiferro, Maestro of S. Spirito, Ferrara, who 
published in 1719, Twelve Ricercari. 

Vincenzo Albrici, born in 1631 at Rome, became in 

1664 Capellmeister to the Elector of Saxony at Dresden, 

. after having embraced Lutheranism: he is 

probably the only example, at that time, of 

an Italian Protestant organist. Having been dismissed 

from his post on account of breaking his leave of 

absence, a common fault of musicians in those days, he 

became organist of St. Nicolai, at Leipsic. Here he 

1 Aresti was horn in 1630. 


Bernardo Pasquini 

remained till 1682, when he went to Prague, as music 
director of the Church of St. Augustine. He composed 
a great deal of church music of good quality, notably 
a Te Deum for two choirs, accompanied by an orchestra 
of strings, brass, and drums; but his chief claim to 
notice here is that while at Dresden he had as a pupil 
Kuhnau, the predecessor of Bach at the Thomas 

Bernardo Pasquini, born at Massa de Valnevola in 
Tuscany, 1637, was the most famous Italian organist of 
the latter half of the seventeenth century. 
While yet young he became organist of the 
important church of Sta. Maria Maggiore, in Rome, 
from which he was promoted to the proud position of 
S.P.Q.R. Organoedus i.e., Organist of the Senate and 
People of Rome a post which seems to have been 
created for him. His fame was great in foreign 
countries, and the Emperor Leopold sent many young 
musicians to complete their studies under him, amongst 
whom were Francesco Gasparini and Durante. He 
was cembalist to the Teatro Capranica while Corelli 
was leader of the violins. For the organ he left two 
large manuscript volumes, written in his own hand, 
which in 1858 were sold to an American, after the death 
of their former possessor, Ludwig Landsberg, of 
Berlin, and for a long time it was considered that 
his organ music was completely lost to the world. 
But in 1902 the British Museum became possessed of a 
valuable MS. volume (Add. MSS. 33,661), containing a 
prelude and seven toccatas by Pasquini, from which 

67 F 

Story of Organ Music 

we quote in App. A No. 6 a fine toccata. The tabla- 
ture has six lines for the right hand and seven for the 

Domenico Zipoli, organist of the Jesuits' Church at 
Rome in the first years of the eighteenth century, 
published Sonate d ' Intavolatura per organo e 
cembalo, consisting of short pieces connected 
with ritual. One of the pieces has a pedal part. He 
had a great reputation as a composer for the organ, 
and that it was not undeserved is shown by a canzona 
in Ritter's Geschichte, in the form of a fugue, with a 
middle movement in 12-8 time. The piece, which is in 
G minor, is so satisfactory that it might be taken for a 
composition of Bach or Handel. Three pieces by him 
are included in the "Cecilia" collection, and are dated 
1716. An Elevasione has a few sustained notes in the 
pedal. It consists of semibreves and minims in the left 
hand with a running commentary in the right, and is 
somewhat antiquated in feeling even for its time. In 
an offcrtorio the pedal sustains the lowest C through- 
out. The piece is marked Con spirito, and quite gives 
an old-world idea of a " merry noise." The opening of 
a canzona is evidently inspired by Purcell's "Golden 

Padre Giambattista Martini, the great historian of 
music, the famous book collector, and the friend of 

Burney, published in 17^8 Sonate d'lntavola- 
Martini / ,, , ., , , . . . . 

tura per I organo ed il cembalo, which is not 

suited for church-playing, though it contains a regular 
and scientific use of the pedal. The collection consists 



of suites of pieces, and ends with a brisk gavotte. He 
published a second collection in 1747, under the title of 
Sonate per I'organo ed il cembalo, in which it will be 
noticed that the word "intavolatura" is dropped; but it 
continued to be used in connection with organ music 
long after it had fallen out of use for other instruments. 
The style of Martini's music is shown by the fact that 
in his Sonate d' Intavolatura is found the original com- 
position of the Gavotte in F, so well known to amateur 
violinists, beginning 

I etc., 

which is to be played on a " Carillon " stop. 

For about a century from this time the works of 
Italian organists took no place in the musical world; 
for all musical art in Italy was swamped to such an 
extent by opera that nothing else was recognised as 
existing, and the word "music" meant, and still means, 
to Italians, the opera only. 




The rise of organ music in Germany Paumann His Fundament um 
Organizandi Compass of German organs Hofhaimer Increase 
in the number of organs The Koch family Arnold Schlick 
Spiegel der Orgelmacher German Tablatures Kleber Coloratura 
Ammerbach Popular tunes set to sacred words. 

THE first representative of German organ music was 
Conrad Paumann, or Paulmann, or Pawmann, of 

Nuremberg, who was born blind, in 1410. 
Paulmann _ . , ! , ... 

Curiously enough he was like his pre- 
decessor Landino, the first famous Italian organist, not 
only in his blindness but that he also was of noble 
birth, and became a master of nearly every known 
instrument. On the lute he was as celebrated as on 
the organ, and for it he invented a tablature, which is 
described by Virdung. One of the many wealthy 
patrician families of Nuremberg gave him his educa- 
tion, and he was at an early age appointed organist of 
St. Sebald, the principal church of that town. 

But he was not content to be a merely local celebrity: 
he travelled and spread his reputation in other countries, 
especially Italy, while his fellow-townsman, the poet 
Hans Rosenpluet, wrote of him: 



" Noch 1st ein Meister in diesen Gedichte, 
Der hat Mangel an seinem Gesigt, 
Der heist Meyster Cunrat Pawmann, 
Dem hat Got solche Genad gedan, 
Das er ein Master ob alien Mayster ist." 

(" My poem must record another master, one who is 
blind, who is called Master Conrad Paumann: to whom 
God has shown so great mercy that he is the master of 
all masters.") 

He aroused as much enthusiasm by his organ- 
playing- as Landino had done a century before, and as 
Sguarcialupo, his contemporary, was doing. Valuable 
presents were made to him by princes: the Emperor 
Frederick III. g-ave him a sword with a gold hilt, and a 
gold chain ; the Duke of Bavaria a more sensible gift 
of a pension to himself and his widow and children. 
When advanced in years he became organist at 
Munich, where he died in 1473, and was buried in 
the Frauenkirche. 

He was the author of a didactic work, called Funda- 
mentum Organizandi Magistri Conradi Paumanns de 
Nuremberga, which remained in manuscript 
in a library at Wernigerode until published Funda- 
by Chrysander in JahrbiicJier fur Musika- n 

lische Wissenschaft, 1871. This is the 
oldest existing work on the art of extempore 
organ-playing, for "organising" meant in those days 
adding a counterpoint, or "organum," to a given 
tenor. The author gives examples of how to treat 
various progressions of the tenor, such as Ascens-us 

Story of Organ Music 

simplex, Descensus simplex^ which meant movement by 
single degrees of the scale, upwards or downwards; 
Ascensus et Descensus per tercias, per quartos, per quintas, 
etc., are all treated in detail. In each case a few bars 
of tenor, containing the required intervals, are given, 
and a part is added above for the right hand. 

Other examples are Pausce: they consist of little 
movements for filling up the pauses in the ritual, when 
the priest is silent. Our author also shows how to 
develop three or four notes of a tenor into a longer 
piece, and to add an organum to it at the same time ; 
it must be remembered that no one thought of com- 
posing entirely original music, and some plainsong or 
other melody was always taken as the groundwork, or 
"tenor," of every composition. He also gives one or 
two pieces with an additional part, a novelty in his day, 
called Basis, Italian Basso, German and English Bass, 
which is below the tenor in pitch, but is written by him 
above it, a common practice in Germany for some 
time after its invention. 1 

The notation employed by Paumann is that described 
by Virdung 2 i.e., the German organ-tablature, in which 
the uppermost part, the so-called Discant, is written on 
a stave of five lines, with diamond-shaped black notes ; 
the lower part or parts are in alphabetical letters ; lines 

1 Similarly, in some of the English hymn-books of as late as the 
first half of the nineteenth century, the tenor and alto were printed 
above the melody. 

2 In Musica Gctuscht, 1511, the same book in which he describes 
Paumann's lute tablature. 

7 2 


above or below the letters show the upper and lower 
octaves, while values are denoted by upright and 
horizontal lines connected with the letters. 1 

An interesting- point is _ that the lowest note 
of the organ he wrote for is @,- - ; this was the usual 
downward compass of ~ ~ organs about 1452, 

the date of the book. Eighteen years later 

or thereabouts, an organ was built for - f P ai 

St. Sebald's with the note A added below ~ 

the B on the pedals, but its single manual 

retained the old compass of rather over two octaves, 
starting from B. The keys of the manual were still 
some six inches broad, and the examples of "organis- 
ing " given by our author must have been intended for 
the positive, for they could not have been played on 
the church organ. The Patisce, however, would have 
been quite possible, and one of them looks as if it was 
intended for a trio, for two manuals and pedal. The 
use of several manuals had long been established in 
Germany, though it does not seem to have penetrated 
to other countries till much later; the famous Halber- 
stadt Cathedral organ, built in 1361, had three manuals 
and a pedal clavier. Stops were only just beginning to 
come into use in Paumann's time, to "stop" or 
silence some of the many pipes which stood over each 
key, and which up to now all spoke at once when a key 
was pressed down. 

Paumann also gives some sacred and secular songs 
in three parts, in which the Discant is more prominent 
1 For example of German tablature without stave see p. 82. 


Story of Organ Music 

than the Tenor; and three short Prceambnla, one of 
which is in toccata form, consisting of a number of 
"passages" over sustained notes in the accompanying 
parts. The tonality breaks away from the church 
modes more than is the case in the early Italian organ 
music of a century after this ; but the rhythm is always 
"Perfect" i.e. in the triple measure, so beloved by 
the Mensuralists. 

The next famous German was Paulus Hofhaimer or 
Hofheimer, born at Radstadt in 1449 or 1459. He was 

court organist to Maximilian I. at Vienna, 
Hofhaimer , . . 

by whom he was given letters of nobility; 

while the King of Hungary created him a Knight of 
the Golden Spur. Like some of his predecessors, his 
praises were sung by contemporary poets, and his 
portrait was painted by Lucas Cranach. The burgesses 
of Augsburg gave him the freedom of their city, and 
he is described by Johannes Cuspinianus as Musicce 
princeps, qui in universa Germania parent non hade/. 1 
His fellow-organist, the famous Luscinius, describes 
his playing as having "nothing poor, nothing cold, 
nothing weak in its harmony: everything is full of 
angelic warmth and power. The wonderful facility 
of his fingers never allows the majestic progress of his 
modulation to be disturbed ... no one has surpassed, 
no one has even equalled him." Such were the 
opinions of his contemporaries; we can only form a 
judgment of his powers by the few works he left. On 
the death of his patron, the Emperor Maximilian, he 
1 Prince of music, who has no equal in the whole of Germany. 


retired to his native town, where he died in 1537. His 
compositions consist of song's 1 and lute music, which 
for the most part remain in MS. collections in the 
Imperial Library at Vienna, and in a large collection of 
various composers, published by G. Forster, at Nurem- 
berg-, in 1556-65, entitled Ausxng schoener deutscher 
Liedlein, zu singen, und auf allerlei Instrument zu 
gebrauchen? These are the works that would be 
played on the organ. One of the most noteworthy, 
a song for three parts, entitled "On frewd verzer," 
quoted by Ritter, is a regular organ piece, with a 
curious old-world effect, which is not at all unpleasing. 
Its key is the second mode (A minor) without any 
accidentals, and with a certain amount of C major 
intermingled. The melody is in the uppermost part, 
and as a whole it is something like a simple German 

In the fifteenth century organs were only to be found 
in the more important churches of large 
towns ; but in the next century German Increase in 
organists began to increase and multiply, the numter 
and there was immense activity in organ 
building, which Praetorius piously attributes Qreanists 
to the mercy of God in revealing to men the 
recrets of stops and of numberless improvements, both 

1 The word "song," with its equivalents chanson, canzona, Lied, 
which are now especially connected with a composition for a single 
voice with instrumental accompaniment, was in those days used only of 
three and four-voice compositions. 

" Selection of fine German Songs, for singing, and for all kinds of 


Story of Organ Music 

in the pipes and through them in the tones, and in the 
mechanical portions of the instrument. Amongst the 

important organists were the members of a 
oc remarkable family of Zwickau, named Koch, 

who, like the later Bach family, were spread 
far and wide as organists. Tobias Schmidt, in his 
Chronica, remarks that " Die Koche dieses Geschlech- 
tes eine sonderliche Zuneigung zum Orgelschlagen 
gehabt." 1 The founder of the family, Paul Koch, who 
died in 1535, was organist of the Marienkirche, at 
Zwickau ; and Walther gives the names of several of 
his descendants, with their positions, but they do not 
seem to have been composers of note. 

We now come to another famous blind musician, 
Arnold Schlick, or Schlik, who was born in Bohemia, 

about 1460. He was organist at the court of 

Schlick the EIector Palatine > at Heidelberg, and the 
author of the oldest printed German organ 
tablature book. It was published in 1512, in response 
to a request by Schlick's son (also named Arnold) for a 
collection of pieces for the organ and lute. The father 
promises in a letter, which is printed with the collec- 
tion, to accede to the request, although he has become 
blind ; and in the same letter he blames Sebastian 
Virdung for many faults which occur in his book: 2 he 
seems to have had a considerable feeling of hostility to 
Virdung, for he satirises him in verse, at the end of 

1 "This race of Cooks had a remarkable natural bent for organ- 

2 Mnsica Getuscht, see p. 72. 

7 6 

Arnold Schlick 

his tablature book. The title of the work is, Tabula- 
turen etlicher lobgesang und liedlein uff die orgeln und 
tauten, etc.^ Schlick exhibits several features which 
are an advance on Paumann. The pedal is used in a 
regularly formed independent bass part throughout, 
the Cantus Fimnus is often in the uppermost part, or 
Discant, and its melody is changed where an im- 
provement is advisable, instead of exhibiting a slavish 
adherence to the original notes. The Dorian Mode 
has the accidentals B flat and C sharp, thus antici- 
pating the modern minor scale, deceptive cadences are 
frequent, and the final closes are always formed, as at 
present, with a major dominant chord. Perhaps, 
however, one of the most remarkable signs of advance 
is the bold use of the triad of A flat, one of the most 
out-of-tune chords under the old systems of tuning, but 
concordant in Equal Temperament, which system had 
been advocated by a Spaniard, Bartolo Ramis, just thirty 
years before the publication of Schlick's Tabulaturen? 

The church organ now had practicable finger-keys, 
and the work in question was intended for 
it, rather than for the Positive. This leads " s P ic S cI 

us to speak of another important work er f gc ' 
o LI- i i_i- L j 11 j macher" 

by Schlick, published in 1511, called 

Spiegel der Orgelmacher und Organisten, alien Stiff- 

1 Tablatures of certain hymns of praise and little songs on the 
organs and lutes. 

a In De Musica Tractatus, Bologna, 1482. The old discordant 
tuning remained on English organs till after the middle of the 
nineteenth century. 


Story of Organ Music 

ten und Kirchen so Orgeln halten oder machen 
lassen, hochniitzlich? in which is described how the 
organs of his day should be built. The compass of the 
manuals was now to be three octaves, beginning with 
F, and the pedals an octave and a half, likewise 
beginning with F. Two newly-invented stops are 
mentioned by name, but not described, in order to 
preserve the secrets of the trade inviolate ; they are 
evidently reed-stops. The pedal organ is to have four 
stops, the chief manual eight or nine, and the Riick- 
positiv (the choir organ behind the player's back) only 
three, which are to be an octave higher than the 
general pitch of the organ. The stop called Zimmel, 
or Zimbel a mixture of six or seven very small pipes 
to each key, is a sine qua non, "since it sounds well 
with all the registers." The tablature used by Schlick 
is much the same as that of Paumann, but 
the uppermost part is written in white 
instead of black notes, and on a stave of 
six instead of five lines. The rest of the parts are 
written in letters, as with Paumann, and changes of 
octave still commence with B, instead of C, in accord- 
ance with the old compass of the organ. No flats 
except B are shown ; all other black keys are indicated 
by sharps only, and this custom remained as long as 
German tablature lasted, and left its mark on the 
nomenclature of the notes for more than a century 
afterwards. In the matter of rhythm, Schlick shows 

1 Mirror of Organ-builders and Organists, most useful to all Institu- 
tions and Churches which possess Organs, or are having them built. 



an advance on Paumann, by using" even time every- 
where, with only one exception. The music, though 
rather thin to modern ears, is almost modern in its 
tonality, showing- little of the modal influence so 
apparent in contemporary Italian works. 

Leonhard Kleber, organist of Goeppingen in 1524, 
who died in 1556, left a large manuscript tablature 
book, which is now in the Royal Library at 
Berlin. It contains no less than one hundred 
and sixteen pieces, mostly contemporary German and 
French and Latin songs in three parts, by various com- 
posers. The book is in two volumes, the first, finished 
in 1522, being for manual only, and the second, two 
years later, being for manual and pedal. There are 
also finger-exercises, and some fantasias and preludes. 
The most interesting 1 feature of the book is that it shows 
the beginning 1 of what has been called the German 
school of Colourists Le., those who overcrowded their 
work with ornamental passages, from the Italian 
colorare, coloratura, colorista, which were Germanised 
as coloriren, Coloratur, Colorist. 

Some of the pieces in the Kleber MS. are really very 
fine: there is a stability and purpose in their progres- 
sions of a high order, foreshadowing the Bach period. 
The coloratura is only beginning: it chiefly consists of 
a turn, Q j-_j wn ' c h towards the end of the 

century CTj~^~E~pi*z : :] was to become a commonplace 
trick, *-^ ' ' ' ' indulged in beyond endurance 

by German organists; while their Italian contempor- 
aries were, as we have seen, using a more elaborate 


Story of Organ Music 

ornament of the same nature, though they did not 
abuse it to the same extent. 

The harmony is thin, but this defect is atoned for by 
the vigour and movement of the counterpoint. The 
Phantasia in D is a short piece, in D minor, with B flat 
and C sharp, and with regular modulations to A minor. 
It is not founded on any Canto Fermo but on original 
motives, and is one of the earliest German examples of 
free composition. 

Kleber was one of a school of organ-composers who 
were earnestly improving their art, of which, however, 
unfortunately few examples have come down to us, for, 
during the time of the Reformation, and for some forty 
years after, there seems to have been a cessation of 
publication of music books. 

Towards the end of the century the activity of Italian 
organists are rivalled by those of Germany, and tabla- 

ture books followed one another in rapid 
Coloratura . _*.. f , i 

succession; but the art of coloratura took 

such a hold that we find a whole period in which Ger- 
man organ music became debased into a senseless and 
mechanical artisan work, in which vocal compositions 
of the best authors were simply made vehicles for abso- 
lutely meaningless ornamentation. The Italians did 
something of the same sort, but there was this differ- 
ence, that they were striving to invent new forms of 
art, while the Germans were expending their energies 
in debasing forms that had already, in the hands of 
Schlick, Kleber, and their contemporaries, begun to 
yield good results. The books of the Colourists began 



to be published in 1571. The art was very simple : it 
consisted in placing turns in every conceivable position 
in the vocal works of the great composers of the period 
and of previous times. The first book which is dis- 
tinctly stated to be "coloured "is entitled: Orgel oder 
Instrument Tabulatur: ein nutzlich Buchlein, zn-welchem 
notwendige erklerung der Orgel oder Instrument Tabu- 
latur, sampt der Application: auch froliche deutsche 
Stucklein unnd Muteten, etliche mit Coloraturen abgesetz, 
desgleichen schone deutsche Tentze Galliarden, und 
Welsche Passometzen zu befinden . . . durch Eliam 
Ntcolaum, sonst Ammerbach genandt, Organisten zu 
Leipzig in St. Thomas Kirchen. 1571. (Organ or In- 
strument Tablature: a useful little book, in which is set 
down the necessary explanation of the organ or instru- 
mental tablature, together with its practical use. Also, 
gay German pieces and motets, some of them with 
coloratura; likewise there will be found beautiful Ger- 
man dances, galliards, and foreign passomezzi . . . 
by Elias Nicolas, otherwise called Ammerbach, organist 
at Leipsic in St. Thomas's Church.) 

Little is known of Ammerbach's life. He was prob- 
ably one of three brothers born at Amorbach in 
Bavaria, one of whom was an organ-builder 
of reputation, and the other a Capellmeister. 
Elias learned his art by travelling in foreign 
lands, and became organist of St. Thomas's in 1560. 
His book is an ordinary method for keyed instruments 
in general. On the next page we give an example 
of his tablature with its translation. 











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Translation of AMMERBACH'S Tablature. 
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Story of Organ Music 






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) * 

h f^ 

^7T-J p- 


* f 


a ' 





ci -*- 


1 i- 

i i f r 




f mm 

*). 1 



rd S 


f p - 

It will be noticed that the barring is regular ; that there are evident 
misprints in bars i and 2 ; that the parts cross in the most confusing 
manner ; that the rules against consecutive fifths and octaves are 
frequently broken ; and that the coloratura consists of the insertion 
of certain conventional figures wherever they can be conveniently 

Ammerbach's tablature is less advanced than those 
of his predecessors, for instead of giving at least one 
part in staff notation, he employs no notes at all, but 
only letters, with time-signs attached: for a Tempus, 
or Brevis, | for a Semibreve, f for a Minim, F for a 
Crotchet, F for a Fusa, or Quaver. This retrograde step 
reminds us of somewhat analogous proceedings in Italy, 
where the easily read notation of Buus gradually gave 
way to far more complicated methods. 

No pedal is contemplated, but rules are given for the 
fingering, which are of interest as the fingers are num- 


Story of Organ Music 

bered i, 2, 3, 4, apart from the thumb, which is shown 
by a circle. The system is therefore the same as that 
now used in England, except that we show the thumb 
by a cross, instead of a circle. The scales are to be 
played as in Italy that is to say, by the three long 
fingers only, omitting the thumb and lijttle finger. 

An entirely unpractical system of tuning is explained, 
such as an inexperienced amateur would be likely to 
adopt. The compositions are divided into 
ropular ^ vg sec tj ons: X) chorales in four parts, with 
, the melody in the tenor; 2 and 3, dances; 4 
Words anc * 5' <<c l r i rte " pieces, both sacred and 
secular, but each intended for church use. 
The people only liked to hear in church what they were 
familiar with : it mattered not whether the tunes were 
sacred or secular, and it was a favourite practice to set 
sacred words to popular tunes. 1 There are nineteen 
"coloured" pieces: the coloratura consists of a moder- 
ate use of the turn, and it is not overdone. A second 
edition of the book appeared in 1592, in which a 
number of madrigals and Latin songs and of non- 
German compositions are added, and all coloratura is 
omitted; but the madrigals are so " improved" in other 
ways as to be almost unrecognisable. 

1 The words seem to have sometimes been a sort of parody on the 
original e.g. , Ein Magdlein sprach mir freundlich zu becomes Ac h 
Herr Gott, sprich mir freundlich zu (A maiden kindly spoke to me : 
O Lord God, kindly speak to me); and Innspruck, ich muss die h lassen 
becomes O Welt, ich muss dich lassen (Innspruck, I now must leave thee : 
O World, I now must leave thee). The tune of the last, under the name 
"Innspruck," will be found in English hymn-books e.g., Hymns 
Ancient and Modern, current edition, No. 86. 


GERMAN ORGAN MUSIC (continued}. 

The Schmida Origin of tablatures The fugue PaixWoltz 
Luython Luther's hymns Rise of the Choralvorspiel Scheidt 
Sweelinck Decay of German tablatures The organ was not at 
first used to accompany the choir or congregation Scheldt's 
directions for the management of the organ His tonality Forms 
of organ music settled in Germany. 

Two famous organists of Strasburg in the sixteenth 
century were a father and son, who both bore the 
name of Bernard Schmid or Schmidt. 1 _, 

The father, who was born in 1522, was Schmids 
organist, first of the Church of St. Thomas, 
then of the Cathedral of Strasburg, both of which 
were at that time Protestant. He was also made a 
burgher of the city, as he is careful to inform us. 

In 1577 he published a work from whose lengthy 
title-page it is only necessary to quote an extract: 
Zwey biicher einer neuen Kunstltchen Tabulatur auf 
Orgel und Instrument . . . auffs neue zusammen- 

1 By a curious coincidence, tsvo other Bernard Schmidts, uncle and 
nephew, came to England in the succeeding century as organ-builders, 
the elder of whom was the famous "Father" Smith, some of whose 
work still remains in the organ of St. Paul's Cathedral and elsewhere. 


Story of Organ Music 

gebracht, collorirt und iibcrsehen. Durch Bernhart 
Schmid, Burger und Organisten su Strasburg . . . 
(Two books of a new artistic tablature for organ and 
instrument 1 . . . lately collected, coloured, and revised. 
By Bernhard Schmid, citizen and organist of Strasburg.) 
In his preface he says, " I have decorated the motets 
and pieces with a little coloratura for the sake of young 
and inexperienced players only, and not with the inten- 
tion of binding competent organists to my coloratura: 
for I wish to leave each free to use his own improve- 
ments. Personally I would rather that the authority 
and art of the composer were respected" (i.e., that 
colour was omitted). The tablature consists of letters 
only, without a stave, like that of Ammerbach. The book 
contains a number of motets and songs, both sacred 
and secular, by Orlando Lassus, Crequillon, Claudin 
le jeune, Clemens non Papa, and others; besides 
Italian madrigals by Cyprian de Rore, Arkadelt, 
Ferrabosco, Berkhem, several of whom were contem- 
porary with our author. 

The sacred songs are Lutheran hymns, one of which, 
" Herzlich lieb hab' ich dich, O Herr," still sung in 
Germany, appears here for the first time. We give (in 
Appendix A, No. 7) the first half of the tune in its 
original form, and with Schmid's "little coloratura." 
Ritter, from whose Geschichte we quote the example, 
says that this is the best piece of coloratura in the 
whole collection. It will be noticed that it consists of 

1 The word " instrument " was in Germany specially connected with 
keyed instruments other than the organ. 


The Schmids 

the mechanical insertion of four-note figures wherever 
they can be fitted in, something" after the manner of a 
beginner's counterpoint exercise. In the last bar but 
one the "colorist" is indifferent as to the observance 
of the rule against consecutive octaves and fifths ; but 
the harmony is entirely free from the influence of the 
modes, which were still powerful in Italy. The spirit 
of progress which led to the break with an unprogres- 
sive hierarchy affected also the art of music, causing it 
to advance more rapidly under Protestant than Roman 
Catholic auspices. 

Schmid's son, who succeeded him both at the Church 
of St. Thomas and the cathedral, published in 1607 a 
tablature book, containing preludes, motets, 
madrigals, fugues, and dances " to be played ^chmid 

on Organs and Instruments," " coloured and ,, 

accommodated to the hand. Amongst the 

ninety pieces are toccatas by the two Gabrielis, Merulo, 
and Diruta. The tablature is the same as that of his 
father and the other German organists. It is curious 
to observe how slow the Germans were to accept the 
idea, even if it occurred to them, of a general notation 
which could be used equally in all countries and on all 
instruments. Here were Italian compositions, written 
in a notation whose principles must have been known 
to them, since they were the same as those of the vocal 
notation used throughout Europe, yet before the com- 
positions could be presented to German organists, they 
must be translated into a clumsy letter notation, the 
knowledge of which was confined to Germany. 


Story of Organ Music 

The reason for this must be sought partly in the 

innate conservatism of human nature, but perhaps more 

on historical grounds. The Roman Church, 

Urigm of during its supremacy, unconsciously did 
Tablaturcs , , , J ,. 

incalculable service to music by spreading 

the use of a uniform vocal notation throughout 
Western Europe. But instrumental music arose in- 
dependently of the Church, and, having begun with 
its own special notations, differing in the various 
countries, was shy of an alliance with the older church 
notation, which, moreover, could not entirely meet the 
new needs without certain modifications. It is remark- 
able, however, that Italy, which was less progressive 
in the more essential art of harmony, was ahead of 
Germany in the more mechanical matter of notation. 
We shall see later that England was in advance of both 
in notation. 

Schmid Junior uses the word "Fugue" as the 

German name for Canzona alia Francese. The amount 

of coloratura is very great, as in his father's 

book, but he shows certain improvements 

in design, making his figures imitate one another in 

the various parts, and introducing new figures, which 

he had learned from Italy. He writes nothing for the 

pedal, and much of his music is unsuited to the organ. 

Jacobus Paix, of Belgian origin, was born in 1550 

at Augsburg, where his father and uncle were organists. 

. . p . He himself obtained a post at Lauchingen, 

and was the author of a tablature book. 

Like his predecessors Paumann and Schlick, he was 


Jacob Paix 

not only a remarkable organist, but was also a master 
of the lute. In 1583 he published his Ein schon nuts 
unnd gebratichlich Orgeltabulatiir . . . alle mit grossem 
fleiss koloriert . . . Instead of a "little" coloratura, 
everything here is, as he says, "coloured with great 
industry." In the preface he shows how to hold down 
one or more notes, and to colour with the unoccupied 
fingers of the same hand. He apologises for breaking 
the rule against consecutive fifths, making it his excuse 
that it was impossible to avoid it; moreover, others, he 
says, do not trouble themselves about the rule. What 
would be said to a candidate in a modern examination 
who made such an excuse ? 

The tablature is the same as usual, and the octaves 
still change at B instead of C. There are fifty-six 
pieces, of which about half are for church use, and 
the rest are German and French songs, Italian 
madrigals, and dances. With regard to his colora- 
tura, he shows, like the rest, mechanical additions 
to compositions by others ; and the figures are the 
same, whatever may be the purport of the words to 
which they are applied. His favourite figure, repeated 
through whole motets, is p , ., Amongst the 

pieces is one called the ^fl> J J ^ "Battle of 
Marignano " by Janne- quin, who was 

famous for such compositions; the playing of battle 
music on church organs was very popular, and was 
vainly inveighed against by the ecclesiastical authorities. 
Battle pieces were analogous to the "storms" which 
were, and perhaps still are, popular on modern organs. 

Story of Organ Music 

The last of the colourists was Johann Woltz, for 
forty years organist, and afterwards parish adminis- 
trator, of Heilbronn. His Nova Musices 
w organiccB Tabulatura, published in 1617, is 

intended entirely for church use; hence all 
dances and " worldly " tunes are excluded. Not only 
is it the last of the colourist books, but by its preface 
we learn that Germans were beginning to get tired of 
their troublesome tablature, for he counsels those who 
are not familiar with the German tablature to transcribe 
the movements into the Italian, and after this date very 
few works were printed in the German tablature. Old- 
fashioned organists, however, continued to use it till 
the beginning of the eighteenth century. 

The chorales are arranged in such a way that "each 
player may add his own coloratura and mordents." 1 
Fugues by Orlando Lassus and Hassler, toccatas by 
Merulo and the Gabrielis are printed in their original 
form, without coloratura, "in order the better to show 
the art of the composers." The first part of the work 
contains German compositions, with a few by foreign 
composers; the second, only German chorales. This 
nation, which had now assimilated the music of Italy 
and the Netherlands, was beginning to put forth a 
branch of its own, destined to bear the fruit we are all 
familiar with. 

The third part of the book contains original organ 

1 An ornament, written ^U~( - played 

Johann Woltz 

music, chiefly canzone francesi, by the great Italians, 
and a few Germans. An interesting- feature is found in 
the index, in which the Modus oder Tonus of each move- 
ment is given "according 1 to its final note" i.e., the 
keynote : in other words, the modern feeling for tonality 
or key rather than mode was asserting itself, and the 
pieces were said to be in C, in D, etc., rather than in 
the ist, 2nd, etc., mode. Accidentals are frequently 
omitted, the player being- expected to supply them by 
the rules of musica ficta, an old-fashioned practice 
which Praetorius proposes might with advantage be 
abolished; all the necessary sharps and flats, he says, 
should be written, instead of being- left to the mercy of 
any inexperienced player. 

The pedal is used only when the intervals are too 
wide for the fingers ; but in one piece the player is at 
liberty to duplicate the bass at an octave lower by 
means of the pedal, if he wishes to do so. 

In the pieces that are coloured, Woltz is in advance 
of his predecessors in the variety of his figures, and the 

tiresome turn is entirely abolished, while 

Woltz 's 

the coloratura is fairly evenly distributed -, , 

/. Coloratura 

amongst the parts. As to his own un- 

coloured pieces, the thinness of the earlier works is now 
a thing of the past, and Woltz revels in full-sounding- 
and beautiful harmonies, the part-writing- being- dis- 
tributed just where it will produce the best effect in the 
chords: the general result of the whole is therefore 
suggestive and sweet-sounding. But the other com- 
posers in his collection have not yet done with the 


Story of Organ Music 

modes, and in the key of E, for example, some of them 
still make the F and G natural, instead of sharp, to 
agree with the old third mode, while C and D are sharp 
to suit harmonic combinations. 

A really fine composition in this collection is a 
canzona entitled Fuga suavissima, by Charles Luython, 

court organist and composer at Prague from 

n 1579 to 1620. (Ritter says that he was 

, an Englishman, brought up, and probably 

F born, in Belgium.) His canzona quite bears 

out its epithet suavissima. A short subject, 
of six notes only, is worked through the keys of C, G, 
D, A, and back to C. After the first exposition, a 
counter-subject enters, in double counterpoint, and con- 
tinues to accompany the subject during the rest of its 
course. Unfortunately, the smooth and beautiful flow 
of subject and counter-subject is later on disturbed 
by some entirely superfluous coloratura with which 
this portion of the fugue finishes. A new subject now 
appears, which after being worked through the same 
keys as before, is, in its turn, interrupted by coloratura, 
and comes to an end. It is followed by a third subject, 
treated in the same way, but the interest constantly in- 
creases by devices known to composers. The piece, 
which is very long, really consists of three separate 
and independent fugues, each of which, except for the 
few bars of uninteresting and rather difficult coloratura, 
would make an acceptable piece for a modern recital 

Space forbids us to linger over this interesting collec- 


The Chorale 

tion, and we must continue our survey of the progress 
made during" the century. Coloratura, in its worst 
forms, now disappeared, and the Germans returned to 
the methods of their earlier composers which, by the 
way, seem never to have been lost sight of by the more 
obscure musicians, who were not influenced by the 
fashionable craze for colour. 

The "sacred songs" composed by Luther and others 
for private and family use had become so popular and 
well known that they gradually found their 
way into the churches, where they were sung " ' 
by the congregation under the name Choral, 
the German term for plainsong. 1 About thirteen of 
these hymns have been attributed to Luther him- 
self, amongst them the powerful and well-known 
" Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott" (Hymns Ancient and 
Modern, 378). Other chorale composers 
whose music is sung in English churches 

are Johann Criiger (Hymns Ancient and , ymn 
,, , \ r* T 1.- ITT Composers 

Modern, 219, 379); Georg Josephi (Hymns 

Ancient and Modern, 20); Hans Leo Hassler (Hymns 
Ancient and Modern, in); Johann Hermann Schein 
(Hymns Ancient and Modern, 452). So great a hold did 
these now familiar tunes take on the popular imagina- 
tion, that not only did the people like to sing them, but 
they loved to hear them played on the organ as well: 
hence arose the use of the Choralvorspiel, or prelude, 
an artistic rendering of the tune about to be sung, 

1 The German Choral has been introduced into English churches 
under the Anglicised form of the name, Chorale. 


Story of Organ Music 

which the organist was expected to adorn with all the 

resources of his art. The rise of the Choralvorspiel 

gave the death-blow to coloratura: it hence- 

Rise of the forth f ormed the ch ; ef exerc i se f or the talents 

of the organist, and had great influence on 

the future development of organ music. 

The earliest treatment of the Choral as a pure organ 
piece, instead of a mere adaptation of the voice parts, 
is found in the Tabulatura Nova of Samuel Scheldt, 
organist of Halle. Scheldt was a pupil of 
the Dutchman J hann p eter Swelinck, 
Sweling, or Sweelinck, organist of the chief 
church of Amsterdam, who, from the number of 
famous organists he trained, obtained the sobriquet 
of "Organist-maker." Born about 1560, Sweelinck 
travelled to Venice at the age of twenty-seven, where 
he placed himself under Zarlino. On his return to 
Holland he had the reputation of being the greatest 
organist in the world, and the inhabitants of Amsterdam 
crowded to the church to hear him play. He is practi- 
cally the founder, through his pupils, of the great 
German school of organists which has lasted to the 
present day. Of his pupils the most famous was 
Scheldt, born at Halle in 1587, where he died in 1654. 
He was therefore a contemporary of Frescobaldi. 
After studying for several years under Sweelinck, he 
returned to his native town, and seems to have re- 
mained there for the rest of his life. His Tabulatura 
Nova was published at Hamburg in 1624. It is the 
first that is free from the parasite of coloratura that had 


Samuel Scheldt 

threatened to destroy the life of German organ music. 
Not that there is no ornamentation, but what there is 
has reason and meaning- in it, and sets off the music to 
the best advantage. 

His compositions are not written in letters, but in 
notes on staves of five lines, but there is a stave for 
each voice-part, and the music is in open 
score. This, though not so easy to read -Decay of 
as under modern conditions, is an immense _ ** m 
advance on the preceding tablature books. 
The first part contains psalms, fantasias, cantilenas, 
passomezzi, and canons. The pedal is used, some- 
times even a double pedal, and there are various new 
effects, such as grouping the notes under legato 
strokes, as in violin music, after the manner of what 
we call phrasing; he calls this Imitatio vwlistica. He 
also invented a rapid iteration of a single note by a 
single finger of each hand alternately, which he calls 
tremolo. The second part contains fugues, psalms, 
echoes, and toccatas. The third part consists of the 
" Kyrie, Credo, Psalm of the Last Supper," hymns of 
the principal festivals, magnificats on the nine tones 
for the full organ: this part is "especially intended 
for those who delight in pure organ music, without 
coloratura." There are directions for the use of the 
stops and pedal, and the music is adapted entirely for 
church purposes. 

At this time it was the custom, both in the Roman 
and Lutheran churches, for the organ not to accom- 
pany the voices, but to play between the verses, or 


Story of Organ Music 

even to take the place of the choir where there was 
none, and play what it would sing 1 if it were present, 
taking up the plainsong or tune and treat- 
Organ not i n g it polyphonically. This was the reason 
at first f or tne secon d p ar t of the examination of 

j . 

candidates for the organistship of St. 
accompany , . ., , . f 

Q. . _ Mark s, described m the former chapter 

(p. 28). Scheldt gives in the third part of 
his work twelve short movements to be thus used in 
the Kyrie and Gloria. The " Psalm of the Last Supper" 
is an arrangement of the Communion hymn of John 
Huss, to be played instead of sung during the Com- 
munion. Finally, there are six pieces for the full 
organ, to be played at the conclusion of Vespers. 
The whole work is conceived in an earnest endeavour 
to bring the music of the organ to a higher level than 

Scheldt's directions for the management of the in- 
strument are important, for none of his predecessors, 

the colourists, had troubled about the matter. 

anage- ^ & magnificat and hymns, he says, are to 
ment of the J . ' 

Q be played on an organ of two manuals and 

pedal. The bass is always to be played on 
the pedal, except when the pedal has the chief melody. 
The discant, or soprano, is to be played on the upper 
manual (the Great organ), the inner parts on the lower 
(the Choir organ) ; but if the melody is in the tenor, it 
is to be played by the left hand on the lower manual, 
the alto and discant on the upper. But sometimes the 
pedal is to play both tenor and bass, while the other 


Scheldt's Stop Combinations 

two parts are played on the two manuals. The usual 
compass of the pedals was at this time two octaves, 
from C, though it sometimes went to D, a note 
higher; and the finest effect, says our author, is 
when the melody is in the alto and is played on the 
pedal with a four-feet stop, while the other three parts 
are played on a single manual with eight-feet stops. 
Organists will recall the use of this device in some of 
the finest of J. S. Bach's Vorspiele. 

For stop combinations he gives: 

On the Great, for accompanying, Gedact of 8 and 4 
feet, or Open Diapason of 8 feet, alone, or 
with other stops. Scheldt's 

On the Choir, for the Cantus Firmus, ?? .. 

Quintadena, or Gedact, of 8 feet, and of 4 

feet, or Principal of 4 feet, with Mixture, or Super- 
octave of 2 feet. 

On the Pedal, for Cantus Firmus, Sub-bass 16 feet, 
Posaune 16 or 8 feet, Dulcian, 16 or 8 feet, Schallmey, 
Trommete, Bauernfldte, and Kornett, the last being a 
reed, not the cornet of English organs. 

The above rules are for general use, but he recom- 
mends frequent changes of register, and especially the 
occasional use of single stops. 

The organ in the principal church of Halle had in 
those days three manuals and pedal ; the Great organ 
had six stops, the open diapason being 
divided, on the Italian plan, between the 
manual and pedal; the Front Choir had six, 
the Back Choir twelve, and the Pedal seven stops. 

99 H 

Story of Organ Music 

This was the " rusty and worm-eaten " organ on which 
some seventy years later Handel learned from Zachau. 

Amongst the chorales in the Tabulatura Nova are 
the Lord's Prayer and the Creed; Luther had put them 
into metre, and associated them with the tunes to 
which they are still sung in Germany. The melody of 
the Lord's Prayer was adapted from a secular tune, and 
is familiar to every English organist through the varia- 
tions on it in Mendelssohn's Sixth Organ Sonata. The 
melody of the Creed is an adaptation of a fifth-century 
plainsong. In the Creed, he opens with imitative 
passages suggestive of the coming melody, which enters 
in the discant at the fourth bar, and is accompanied by 
short imitative figures in the style now known in 
Germany as " Figurierte Choral." There are four 
"verses" that is to say, the tune is played through 
four times, each repetition being differently treated ; the 
word "verse," when applied to the organ-chorale, 
means nothing more or less than Variation. 

The Lord's Prayer, of which Scheidt gives nine 
verses, opens in the same way, but the melody is 
inverted in the introductory three bars. 

The fantasias are Choralvorspiele, with the differ- 
ence that the melody is distributed between the various 
parts, instead of being confined to one part 
for each verse. A "phantasia" on a mad- 
rigal "lo son ferito," by Palestrina, called 
a quadruple fugue, consists of four subjects, each of 
which is worked out as a separate fugue, and then all 
four are combined, with considerable use of chromatic 


The Organ used with Voices 

counter-subjects. The work is of great interest, but of 

enormous length. 

The Echoes, referred to in the title, consist of the 

repetition of a phrase played on one manual, by the 

soft stops of the second manual ; this was also a 

favourite device in Holland and England- 
There is a certain indefiniteness of tonality in his 

work, a wavering between the old modes and the new 

scales, and in playing it one feels tempted to 

. , / vt r *v Scheldt's 

add accidentals in order to get rid of this -. f<i 

. . Tonality 

feeling of uncertainty. The counterpoint 

has more solidity and force than that of Frescobaldi : 
it is more carefully chosen, and the difference in 
national temperament is marked in the two composers. 
In the Tabulatiir-buch 100 Geistlicher Lieder, pub- 
lished in 1650, he treats the chorale in another way 
not as an organ solo, but as an accompani- 
ment to voices. In the quarter of a century Organ 
that had elapsed since the publication of his be m s to , ^ 

Tabulatura Nova, the practice had arisen of ., c . 

.. ., . . the Singing 

making the organ accompany the singing or Q t j ie Q, n , 

the congregation, and the second work was gregation 
published at the desire of the magistrates 
and town council of Gorlitz, to meet the new require- 
ments. The singing had been formerly led by a more 
or less trained official choir, and the congregation had 
joined in as best they could in those hymns which had 
become more or less familiar from frequent repetition ; 
books were rare, and the power of reading them rarer. 
But as time went on, this arrangement was found 


Story of Organ Music 

more and more unsatisfactory, and it occurred to some 
one at Hamburg that the organ might play with the 
choir instead of only alone, and then "each Christian 
would be able with confidence to raise his bad lay voice 
as loudly as he liked, without the danger of becoming 
a fifth wheel in the musical coach." 1 The new idea 
soon spread through Germany, and choir, organ, and 
congregation performed the chorales together. 

We may consider that by the middle of the seventeenth 
century the present high school for organ music had 

taken firm root in Germany, the chorale, in 
~, or its hundredfold treatment, the prelude and 

fugue, the toccata, canzona, and fantasia, 
jyj u . being the forms in which it was most 

frequently manifested. The Lutheran ser- 
vice gave more opportunities to organists than the 
Roman, of which they did not fail to take advantage ; 
and this is perhaps one of the reasons why the Germans 
advanced more rapidly than the Italians, though the 
organ certainly lost some of its independence when it 
was employed to accompany the singing. 

Recent research has shown the ordinary view that the 

1 But the organ seems to have evicted the choir in Holland, if one 
may judge from the writer's experience some eighteen years ago in the 
chief churches of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The Vorspiel was in 
each case a most artistic and enjoyable performance ; but there was no 
trained choir, and when the congregation joined in with their "bad lay 
voices," the cacophony was indescribable. The congregation sang its 
loudest, the organ played its loudest, and the difference of pitch be- 
tween the two gradually reached a semitone, while there was a 
slackening of speed till the congregation was a beat behind the organ. 


Congregational Singing 

organ was first introduced into churches to accompany 
the singing" of the congregation to be a mistake. 
Congregational singing was an outcome of the Re- 
formation: it was at first performed by the voices 
alone, and the support given to it by the organ was an 



GERMAN ORGAN MUSIC (continued). 

Scheidemann Reinken Buxtehude Bruhns The South German 
school Hassler Kindermann Schlemtner Pachelbel Steigle- 
der Erhach Speth Froberger and the legends concerning him 
Kerl Muffat The Bach family. 

AMONGST the organists formed by Sweelinck was 

Heinrich Scheidemann, son of the organist of St. 

Catherine's Church at Hamburg. He sue- 

o < * 

"~ ceeded his father as organist at this im- 
rnann a portant church, and when he died in 1663 
he was succeeded by his pupil, Johann Adam 
Reinken, Reinke, Reincke, or Reinicke. Thus the style 
of Sweelinck was handed down from master to pupil, 
and from father to son ; and the reputation of Reinken 
was such that people came to Hamburg from a distance 
to hear him play. He had a large four-manual organ 
at his disposal, which he loved like a child, and was 
constantly talking about, according to Mattheson. He 
preserved his full powers till 1722, when he died at the 
extraordinary age of ninety-nine. Few of his composi- 
tions have survived. Ritter and Spitta mention two 
Choralvorspiele, in which the chorale is treated line by 



line, each line being separately worked out as a motet, 
and between the lines there are short episodical 
passages to separate them. These two pieces are of 
enormous length, and Ritter seems to consider that 
they are disappointing, in view of Reinken's great 
reputation amongst his contemporaries. There also 
exists a Toccata in G major, beginning with brilliant 
passages, followed by a fugue, then an intermezzo, 
and another fugue. This is the threefold form of fugue 
which became orthodox in North Germany in those 
days: it differed from the Italian form, which consisted 
of three separate fugues connected by " passages." 

Bach made two journeys to Hamburg to hear 
Reinken, and so much did he admire him, says Mizler, 

that he took some of his works as models, 

... . ,, . . . . . Bach and 

besides arranging some of his string music _ . , 

for the clavier. When he visited Hamburg 
for the second time, Reinken was ninety-seven years 
old, and Bach was no longer an eager student, anxious 
to learn, but a consummate artist, whose reputation 
was already gone abroad. He played for two hours on 
the organ at St. Catherine's Church, during half-an- 
hour of which he extemporised on the chorale "An 
Wasserfliissen Babylons " in Reinken's own style, as 
described above. This was one of the chorales which 
had been treated by Reinken, and it was evidently a 
favourite with him. So struck was he, however, by the 
younger artist's treatment of the same theme, that far 
from feeling any jealousy, he said to Bach, " I thought 
this art would die with me, but I perceive that it lives 


Story of Organ Music 

in you." He then invited Bach to visit him, and treated 
him with every attention. 

Dietrich Buxtehude, who had still more influence on 
Bach, was a Dane, having been born at Helsingor in 
B , , 1637, where his father was an organist, and 
died at Liibeck in 1707. In 1667 he was 
appointed organist of the Marienkirche at Liibeck, in 
succession to Tunder, a pupil of Frescobaldi. Here he 
was distinguished, not only by his organ-playing and 
compositions, but also by his success in certain church 
performances of vocal and instrumental music, called 
Abendmusik, an old Liibeck institution. These per- 
formances attracted many people from a distance, and 
amongst the visitors to Liibeck were Handel, and 
Mattheson, and Bach: the two former to inquire if it 
should suit them to succeed Buxtehude after his death, 
or retirement, and the last to learn what he could of 
the art of organ-playing from so great a master. 
Buxtehude's organ had fifty-three stops, of which 
thirty-eight were on the three manuals, and the remain- 
ing fifteen on the pedal. Though it was not tuned in 
equal temperament till eighty years after his death, yet 
so pressing was the need to break loose from the 
bondage of being confined to a few keys, that 
Buxtehude modulated, just as Bach did, 
into all the keys, considering rightly that 

freedom of modulation was of more import- 

ance than the avoidance of the harsh dis- 
cords produced by it with the old tuning. The true 
artist, like the ordinary healthy human being, would 



rather put up with a very great deal of discomfort under 
conditions of freedom, than enjoy luxurious ease within 
a confined and narrow prison. 

To Buxtehude are due some very important develop- 
ments. It was he who first used the shake on the 
pedals, and Spitta says that he was the first 

to take pleasure in employing- shakes in 

L^L T. i hude's 

several parts at once ; but the shake in more ~ , 

than one part simultaneously was coming 1 ments 

into use elsewhere, for his contemporaries 
Pasquini in Italy and Muffat in South Germany used 
shakes in both hands together. 1 But these are mere 
details of external technique: a far more interesting 
feature is his treatment of the fugue subject. He 
adheres to the North German threefold fugue, but each 
new subject is developed out of the first, while in some 
cases the first subject is foreshadowed in the prelude. 
Thus the whole seems to grow by a natural process of 
development out of its own material, instead of being 
a series of disconnected movements, as in the older 
fugues. This development of new material out of what 
has gone before had been suggested by Frescobaldi, 
and is one of the devices which Beethoven carried to so 
high a point. Another device, which Buxtehude seems 
to have been the first to use, is the occasional introduc- 
tion of a kind of instrumental recitative, senza misura 
that is, without measured rhythm, such as is found in 
some of Beethoven's later sonatas. 

Added to all this, his harmonies are conceived in the 
1 See App. A, No. 6, bar 4. 

Story of Organ Music 

boldest and most romantic spirit: he brought organ 
music to a point which could only be surpassed by the 
consummate genius of J. S. Bach. 

Buxtehude's best pupil was Nicolaus Bruhns, the son 
of an organist, born in 1665. He was also a violinist 
Br hns ^ high attainments. He died when only 
thirty-two years old, at Husum, where he 
held a post as organist. A Prelude and Fugue by him 
are published in Commer's Sammlung der besten Meister- 
iverke des // nnd 18 Jahrhunderts fur die OrgeL The 
prelude opens with very vigorous passages in manuals 
and pedal, reminding us of Bach's early works; and 
the double pedal is also used. There is a good deal of 
reiteration of passages built on the tonic triad, but this 
is relieved at the end by the fine treatment of a descend- 
ing scale in semibreves on the pedal, accompanied by 
imitative work on the manual. A threefold fugue 
follows, the first portion of which reminds us of 
Handel's style. The second section is an interlude in 
E minor, in rapid iteration of a short figure distributed 
between the two hands, and the third is a new fugue in 
6-4 time, developed from the subject of the first fugue 
in the manner invented by his master Buxtehude. 
This ends with a florid coda, like some of Bach's organ 

While organ music was thus progressing in the 
north of Germany, a fine school was being 
formed in the south, the wealthy town of 
Nuremberg being the chief centre of the Pro- 
testant branch, and Augsburg of the Roman Catholic. 



The representatives of music in the two religions lived 
together in friendly artistic rivalry, giving their best 
powers to the development of the different forms of 
their art which suited the respective services. The 
German people seem to have had little or no intoler- 
ance as between Protestant and Catholic; all they 
asked was to be allowed to pursue their ordinary avoca- 
tions of agriculture, trade, music, etc., in peace, without 
troubling about religious differences. But it was 
different with the several princes, amongst whom there 
reigned a petty jealousy over religious matters, through 
which all the miseries of the Thirty Years' War (1618-48) 
were forced on the unhappy people. 

The first of the celebrated Nurembergers was Hans 
Leo Hassler, one of three brothers, who were all 
organists. He was born in 1564, and was a 
pupil of his father, a "town musician" till 
he was twenty, when he went to Venice, where he 
studied for five years under the two Gabrielis. He 
afterwards became organist to the Fuggers 1 at Augs- 
burg, whence he went to Vienna as Court musician to 
the Emperor Rudolph, from whom he received a patent 
of nobility. Finally, he became organist to the Court 
at Dresden, where he died in 1612. 

During his life he was one of the most popular com- 

1 The Fuggers were three brothers, merchants of Augsburg, of 
phenomenal wealth : Martin Luther says that they lent the Emperor 
at one time twenty-eight tons of gold, and that one of them left eighty 
tons at his death. They also lent money to our Edward VI. They 
were munificent patrons of literature and art. 


Story of Organ Music 

posers of vocal works in South Germany; but we are 
only concerned with his organ works, which are three 
in number. Psalmen nnd Christliche Gesange fugweis 
componirt, 1607; these are chorales in the style of 
fugues. The second work is the same set of chorales, 
arranged for four voices, published the following year. 
The third is a collection of ricercari, a canzona, and a 
magnificat. The second of the ricercari is supposed 
to be in the fifth tone, transposed; but it is in C major 
pure and simple, with two modulations, to G and D 
minor. It consists of a series of short fugues, each of 
which, after being carried out for a time, gives way to a 
new and independent subject. One of the subjects is 
that which Handel used with such wonderful skill and 
powerful effect in the chorus, " Let all the angels of 
God worship Him," in the Messiah. 

Hassler's counterpoint is strong and effective and 
modern in feeling; so much character is there in it that 
the attention is attracted away from the want of variety 
of key, which would otherwise be an element of mono- 
tony. He is considered by Ritter to have been to 
Germany what Giovanni Gabrieli was to Italy; but his 
music shows a distinct advance on that of his master. 
The Protestant German and Catholic Italian, both 
starting from the same point, arrived at different goals, 
though they were contemporary, and had equal mastery 
over their materials. 

Passing over a number of Nurembergers, who all 
contributed in a greater or lesser degree to the advance- 
ment of their art, we come to Erasmus Kindermann, 


Kindermann, Schlemmer,, etc. 

born at Nuremberg in 1616, where he died in 1655, 
as organist of St. -^Egidius. He published Harmonia 
organica in German tablature in 1645, con- 

sisting of preludes in the twelve tones, in 

' mann 

which he sharply distinguishes between the 

old and the new, by composing some of his pieces 
in the modes entirely, and others entirely in the 
modern keys of C major, F major, and D minor. 
There are also fugues on chorales, in which the 
Echo effect is used. Kindermann carried on the work 
begun by Scheldt, using the pedal freely, inventing 
new forms, and obtaining a complete mastery over his 

Heinrich Schlemmer, who was born in 1621 at 
Gubertshausen, was driven from his home by the war, 

and coming to Nuremberg in 1641, studied _ 

v . , TT u -i Schlemmer 

under Kindermann. He became musical 

director of the Liebfrauenkirche, and was a remarkable 
teacher. He does not appear to have been either an 
organist or composer for that instrument; but he 
trained a great number of organist pupils, 
chief of whom was Pachelbel, the most cele- 
brated and energetic of the seventeenth century Nurem- 
berg organists, who was born in that city in 1653. 

On the completion of his education, Pachelbel went 
to Vienna, where he became deputy to Kasper Kerl, or 
Kerll, organist of St. Stephen's. Later on he held 
posts at Eisenach, Erfurt, and Stuttgart, eventually 
returning to Nuremberg, where he became organist of 
St. Sebald's. 


Story of Organ Music 

If Schlemmer was a great teacher, his pupil Pachelbel 
was a greater, and in all the places in which he tem- 
porarily settled he left numerous disciples to carry on 
the work of founding or continuing a great school of 
organ-playing. At Erfurt he was succeeded by his 
pupil Nicolaus Vetter, who in his turn was followed by 
Heinrich Buttstedt, another pupil of Pachelbel. At 
Erfurt he also trained Christoph Bach, the elder brother 
and first teacher of Sebastian. 

Pachelbel left a large number of Choralvorspiele of 
the highest merit. Such was their popularity that some 
of them, being too long for use in the ordinary service, 
were curtailed by later organists in order to make 
them available. 

He invented a new form, the Choralfuge, 1 in which 
the subject of the fugue was the first line of the chorale, 
in diminution: this fugue having been car- 
- ried through up to a certain point, the 

chorale itself entered in its own length of 
note, thus appearing as an augmentation of the fugue 
subject proper. The possibilities of this form are very 
great; the only drawback seems to be the length to 
which it must necessarily be carried, and this may 
perhaps account for its not having been much adopted 
by later composers. He also left some brilliant 
toccatas, and other compositions not founded on 

A curious book is a Tablature of the Melody of the 

1 Not to be confused with the English term Choral fugue, meaning 
a fugue to be sung by a chorus. 



Lord's Prayer^ with forty variations, published in 1672, 
the composer of which was Ulrich Steigleder, organist 
of the chief church of Stuttgart. The tune 

Q, * * 4 f 

is worked out in every conceivable way, "f* " s 
with great skill: in some of the variations Prayer" 
another instrument is even called in to 
supplement the organ, for a violin or bassoon is sup- 
posed to play the melody, while the organ plays the 
accompaniment. This is Steigleder's only known 

We now turn to the representatives of the Roman 
Catholic side of organ-playing in Germany. Christian 
Erbach, born in 1573, was organist to 
Marcus Fugger, and afterwards to the 
cathedral of Augsburg ; he was also elected a member 
of the city council. His compositions for the organ 
remain in manuscript in the Royal Libraries of Munich 
and Berlin ; they consist of ricercari, canzoni, 
fugues, toccatas. In style he follows Merulo and 
Andrea Gabrieli, but he rounds off his periods more 
neatly, and his music has more strength in it than is 
found in theirs. In his ritual music, also contained in 
these volumes, he treats his melodies like Protestant 
Choralvorspiele, but his harmonies are in the old modes. 
After this no important organ music seems to have 
been produced at Augsburg until the publication in 
1692 of Wegvoeiser die Orgel recht zu schlagen 
(Signpost to show how to strike the organ 
rightly), which went through many editions. It was 
a collection of toccatas and fugues for beginners. 


Story of Organ Music 

Commer quotes an interesting form of fugue on the 
third tone from this work. It is preceded by nine bars 
of "tastata," the Italian for prelude. There is then a 
short complete four-part fugue, followed by " Variatio i," 
a new fugue of about the same length as the first, whose 
subject consists of the same notes as that of the first, 
but so changed by alterations of accents and values as 
to be only just recognisable. "Variatio 2 " is a third 
fugue on the same notes, but again altered in accents 
and values ; and the piece concludes with thirteen bars 
of "Finale," in triple measure built on yet another 
variation of the original subject. 

The toccatas in this work have the same form as 
those of Frescobaldi; two duple-measure movements 
divided by one of triple measure. 

In the following year there was published at Augs- 
burg A rs Magna Consoniet Dissoni dassist, Organisch- 
Instrumentalischen Lnstgarten (The great Art 
4 P c ^ of Consonance and Dissonance that is to 

say, an Organic-Instrumental Pleasure- 
son! et 
Dissoni" & ar ^ en ) by Johann Speth, the cathedral 

organist. It contains toccatas, magnificats, 
and airs with variations of musical value. One of the 
pieces has a mark of expression, "con affetto," 
perhaps the first of its kind in organ music, though 
Italian words of this nature began to appear in Lute 
music some fifty years previous to this, and English 
words in 1593. 

Some of Speth's modulations go far afield: for instance, 
in a toccata in A major he modulates to F major. 



A toccata in G major consists of a melodious intro- 
duction, in which imitative passages on the manual are 
built over a long holding G on the pedal, finally modu- 
lating to D, when a regular fugue enters. This form of 
toccata i.e., in which the longest and most important 
portion is a fugue, became common; but in later times 
the toccata was separated from the fugue by a full close 
in its own key, and the piece was called " Toccata and 

Johann Jacob Froberger was born at Halle about 
1610, where his father was a Cantor. Of his early life 

nothing definite is known, and the gap has 

been filled in by an extraordinary story, 

which Ritter puts aside as a fable. We give it for 
what it is worth. He is said to have been waylaid and 
stripped by brigands on his way through France to 
England, and to have been obliged to cross the 
Channel in an old sailor-coat. His ship was captured 
by pirates, but he jumped overboard, and 
being a good swimmer, was saved by some Extra- 
fishermen, who enabled him to reach Eng- 
land. Clothed in rags, he made his way to 
London by begging, where he heard the organ as he 
was passing Westminster Abbey. Entering, he went 
on his knees, and remained in this position till turned 
out by an old man. "You seem very unhappy," said 
the old man, as he closed the doors. " Yes," said 
Froberger, and told his story. " Listen," said the old 
man: "I am the organist of this church, and also of 
the Court. If you will be my blower I will provide you 

"5 i 

Story of Organ Music 

with food and lodging." The old man of the story was 
none other than Christopher Gibbons, but how he came 
to be acting as verger, and why he should have to 
provide his own blower, is not told us. Froberger 
accepted his offer, not daring to announce his real 
profession, for fear of losing his means of subsistence. 
During the festival of the marriage of Charles II., 
which took place shortly afterwards, Froberger, in his 
admiration of the magnificence of the surroundings, 
forgot to blow, and Gibbons in his fury upbraided him, 
struck him in the face, and retreated into the vestry. 
A sudden idea struck Froberger. Filling the bellows, 
he began to play in such a manner that all eyes were 
turned to the instrument, and it was asked who was 
this great artist? A lady in the assembly, who had 
heard Froberger in Vienna, recognised his style, and 
presented him to the king, who at once had a clavecin 
brought in, and made him play for an hour, to the 
delight of the whole court. The king then gave him a 
gold chain, and from that moment his fortunes were 

This story is told by Mattheson, who says that 
he got it from Froberger's own notes; but it is very 
improbable, and looks much as if Froberger had 
dreamed or invented it. Mattheson also says that 
Froberger had the power of representing on the organ 
the histories of particular transactions, one of his 
favourite themes being the crossing of the Rhine by 
Count Thurn, one of the generals in the Thirty Years' 
War, with whom Froberger was present on the occa- 



sion. He was greater on the harpsichord than on the 
organ, and Hawkins says that the studies of Froberger 
and Frescobaldi contributed greatly towards bringing 
that instrument into general use. 

In 1637 he became a member of the court band of 
Vienna. The Emperor Ferdinand III. sent him to 
Rome to study under Frescobaldi, and Kircher quotes a 
fantasia by him, founded on the notes of the hexachord, 
in which the first six degrees of the major scale are 
treated in all manner of contrapuntal devices, and 
finally the same scale, with all its semitones, is thus 
treated, producing some very awkward combinations; 
the piece being spun out to a wearisome length by 
episodes in triple time. The hexachord was a favourite 
theme in all countries at that time. (See next page.) 

A set of four volumes in the Vienna Court Library, 
in Froberger's own handwriting, is one of the principal 
sources of our knowledge of his music ; and a work 
published in 1693, twenty-six years after his death, 
whose title is full of superlatives, contains toccatas, 
etc., by him. Its quaint title runs: Diverse Ingeg- 
nosissime, Rarissime, et non piii mai viste Couriose 
Partite, di Toccate . . . del Excellentissimo et Famosis- 
simo Organista Giovanni Giacomo Froberger, par laprima 
volte con diligentissimo studio Stambale. (Diverse most 
ingenious, most rare, and never before seen curious 
scores of toccatas ... by the most excellent, the most 
famous organist John Jacob Froberger, printed for the 
first time with the most diligent care.) Of this there is 
a copy in the British Museum, and also of its continua- 


Story of Organ Music 

. V I. Df Mti/k* l48r*HanB , 469 

t-A 1 : --" .;J 





Kaspar Kerl 

tion, Diverse Curiose e Rare Partite musicali del Ex 
e Fam. organista, G. G. Froberger, 1696. 

He left the Court of Vienna, and was protected by 
the Duchess Sybilla of Wurtemberg, in whose service 
he died in 1667. He is chiefly important for the 
influence his music had in the development of J. S. 
Bach. Spitta (Bach, vol. i. p. 323) shows that his 
toccatas contributed to the formation of the North 
German fugue form, consisting of several distinct 
sections. Some of his pieces were contained in the 
book belonging to Johann Christoph Bach, which the 
young Sebastian copied by moonlight at Ohrdruff. 
Adlung says that he was held in high honour by 
Sebastian, though he was somewhat antiquated. The 
style of his toccatas is founded on that of the Gabrielis, 
in which running passages are followed by a fugue, or 
fugato work, and new florid passages conclude the 
work. The E major fugue, in the second part of the 
Wohltemperirte Klavier, is an adaptation of a fugue in 
the Phrygian mode composed by Froberger. 

Kaspar Kerl, a native of Saxony, came to Vienna, 
and was sent by the Emperor Ferdinand III. to Rome, 
to study under Carissimi. On his return to 
Vienna he was ennobled by the Emperor 
Leopold, and the Kurfurst of Bavaria made 
him his Capellmeister at Munich. Then he returned to 
Vienna again, and became organist of St. Stephan. 
He published a collection of toccatas and canzonas in 
the style of Frescobaldi, making little use of the pedal. 
He is known to students of Handel through his canzona 


Story of Organ Music 

in E minor, which Handel " borrowed " note for note 
in his chorus " Egypt was glad at their departing," in 
Israel in Egypt. 

The greatest of German Catholic organists was un- 
doubtedly Georg Muffat, who was born about 1645, and, 

after studying at Paris while Lully was there, 
G. Muffat b . . f c . , * .. , . 

became organist of btrasburg Cathedral. 

Driven thence by the war, he went to Rome, where he 
remained till 1690, when he returned to Germany. He 
now became organist to the Archbishop of Salzburg, and 
five years later he left this service to enter that of the 
Bishop of Passau, as Capellmeister and Master of the 
Pages. He died in 1704. In 1690 he published 
Apparatus Musico Organisticus , a collection of toccatas, 
a chaconne, a passacaglia, and other pieces. It is 
strange that so little mention has been made of this 
really great artist: Hawkins does not notice him, and 
Burney gives him only a few lines, saying that he was 
"an eminent organist, composer, and fughist, and one 
of the great harmonists of Germany." Yet in its own 
line, his work is as fine as that of Buxtehude, who has 
been brought into well-deserved prominence of late 
years owing to his connection with Bach. There is 
a human feeling about the music of MufFat, which 
removes it above mere counterpoint or exhibition of 
skill, and appeals to the heart more than any of the 
earlier compositions. Perhaps his German nature, 
combined with his French education, brought out in 
him the best characteristics of the music of both 
nations, and produced that combination of spontaneity, 



of learning-, and of an appeal to the senses and the 
intellect which is so remarkable in his music. Ritter 
says that " in the toccata he surpasses all previous 
German masters except Buxtehude, who died some 
seven years before him, and whose powerful use of the 
pedal makes up for the want of Muffat's warmth of 
colour." " He is the first who takes us out of the realm 
of mere sound and tone -quality into that of soul- 
inspiring music." Spitta remarks, 1 "In the toccata, a 
form had at last been worked out which contained in 
itself nearly all that the art had then achieved: fugues, 
free imitations, brilliant ornamental passages, and the 
mighty flow of chord progressions. This summit, fairly 
represented by Georg Muffat's grand work, Apparatus 
Musico Organisticus , and by the collection of toccatas 
published by Johann Speth, had been reached by the 
end of the century : what remained to be done, it was 
beyond the power of the Catholic organists to achieve. 
The motive supplied by the Protestant chorale was 
lacking to them; the Gregorian chant, which Fresco- 
baldi handled so efficiently and effectually for the organ, 
founded as it was on solo declamation and the church 
modes, was opposed in its very essence to that richer 
development in the new harmonic system by which 
alone the full expansion of instrumental music became 

Muffat was the last of the great German Catholic 

organists ; and we must now turn our attention to what 

was going on in the centre of Germany, in the province 

1 Bach, vol. i. p. 109. 


Story of Organ Music 

of Thuringia. The inhabitants of this country seemed 
so specially gifted with music, that there was a pro- 
verb, "Thuringia, where every peasant 
Music in , . & , T V ... 

-,< . . knows music. Not a village was there m 

which church music did not flourish: if there 
was no organ, its place was taken by a band of violins. 
The boys of the towns and villages were carefully 
taught to sing and to read music at sight; and every 
Sunday they went round and sang part-songs before the 
houses, the inhabitants of which paid them a few 
coppers, and they thus earned a part of their suste- 
nance. It must not be supposed that they had anything 
in the least in common with the mendicants who infest 
the streets of many countries in Europe, who sing or 
pretend to play on musical instruments as a means of 
begging; on the contrary, they were the church choir, 
and their music consisted of the best of its time, and 
their open-air singing was regularly organised by the 
town authorities. This custom is still kept up in some 
of the smaller towns of Thuringia; and when the present 
writer was at Ohrdruf in the summer of 1899, the choir 
of eighteen or nineteen boys came, at his request, and 
sang part-songs by Mendelssohn and other classical 
composers at the window of his hotel, on Sunday morn- 
ing, before they went into the church, in a style which 
could not have been better done by the boys of an 
English cathedral. 

This musical land was the home of the remarkable 
Bach family, the founder of which, Veit Bach, was a 
miller, who used to sing and play his cither in time 


Bach Family 

to the beat of his mill-wheel. His son Hans was 
a weaver, who spent his leisure in playing his violin 

at weddings and other gatherings. The first 

,, ,. ., TT Bach 

important organist of the family was Hem- p am jj y 

rich, the son of Hans, born at Wechmar, 
in 1615. Heinrich became organist of the Fran- 
ciscan Church of Arnstadt in 1641. The family 
now increased, and its members began to fill most 
of the important organistships in Thuringia and the 
neighbouring countries. Thuringia suffered severely 
from the disorganisation caused by the Thirty Years' 
War, and organists, as well as others, found it difficult 
to live : it was the custom to pay them partly by 
money, which was at that time very scarce, partly in 
kind, and partly by the use of a plot of land, which 
would often be overrun by the contending armies. 
It is to the credit of the Bach family or clan (for they 
held themselves somewhat aloof from other musicians) 
that they retained their self-respect all through these 
troublous times, which demoralised and ruined so many 
of their contemporaries. The history of music in 
Thuringia during some two centuries chiefly centres 
on this family, which became so numerous, and so 
associated with music, that the town musicians were 
frequently alluded to not as "the musicians" but "the 
Bachs," even if there were no Bach among them. The 
name has not died out: no less than thirteen families of 
Bachs were living at Erfurt in 1899, and there were 
others elsewhere. 




WE have now seen how organ music, growing in Italy 
and Germany out of the first crude efforts of the 
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, reached, in the 
sixteenth, an archaic period; how it threatened to 
stiffen and become fixed in conventional forms, by 
" Diminution " in Italy, and " Colouration" in Germany; 
how the progressive spirit of the Germans led them to 
avoid this danger ; and how by the labours of a succes- 
sion of earnest and gifted men, the most soulless and 
mechanical of instruments was made to serve for the 
expression of a noble and living art, eminently suited 
to the needs of religion, and the edification of mankind. 
The art of Italy, Germany, and Holland now cul- 
minated in the works of one man, whose mighty genius, 
using the works of his predecessors as his point of 
departure, soared to regions of pure and lofty music, 
far above anything that had gone before him, so that 
all previous composers appear in the light of fore- 
runners to him, whose work was to prepare the ground, 
that he might enter into possession and make the best 
use of it. 


J. S. Bach 

John Sebastian Bach was the youngest child of 
John Ambrosius Bach, organist and town musician of 
Eisenach. He was born in 1685, and spent 
the first nine years of his life in his native 
place, probably studying- under his father, who, being a 
viola -player besides organist, would naturally make 
his sons familiar with stringed as well as keyed 

On the death of his father, Sebastian was taken 
charge of by his brother Johann Christoph, organist 
and schoolmaster of Ohrdruf. Here he went to school 
at the Lyceum, where he learned Latin, Greek, rhetoric, 
and arithmetic, thus laying a foundation of general 
education which is sometimes denied to musicians. He 
was also the principal singer in the choir, with a fixed 
salary : of the duties of a Thuringian choir we have 
spoken on page 122. He early exhibited that in- 
satiable talent for hard work which was so striking a 
characteristic throughout the whole of his life, and 
which enabled him to accomplish far more than is 
usually possible in a single lifetime. While at Ohrdruf, 
his brother, for some unknown reason, forbade him the 
use of a certain volume of manuscript music; but so 
great was his determination to possess it, that he spent 
six months in secretly copying it by moonlight, thereby 
probably laying the foundation of an injury to his eye- 
sight, which resulted in blindness towards the end of 
his life. The book contained organ and clavier music 
by Froberger, Fischer, Kerl, Buxtehude, Pachelbel, 
Bruhns, and Bohm; and on discovering the copy, made 


Story of Organ Music 

with such extraordinary perseverance, the brother con- 
fiscated it. But though the boy thus lost the external 
evidence of his labour, he had sown seed which was 
soon to bring forth abundant harvest. It is the experi- 
ence of every student of music that the intelligent copy- 
ing of great works of art gives more insight into their 
construction than any amount of playing and analysing 
them ; and one can imagine how so great a genius as 
Bach would profit by the process. 

When he was fifteen he left Ohrdruf, and began to 
earn his own living at Liineberg as an accompanist and 

a violin-player in the band; and on certain 
L festivals this band played with the singers 

in the streets, whereby its members were 
able to increase their earnings a little. His simple 
mode of life did not, however, require any great ex- 
penses, and his salary being sufficient for his needs, 
he devoted all his spare time, day and night, to im- 
proving himself in every branch of his profession by 
unremitting study of the works of his predecessors, by 
practice on the keyboard, and by journeys to Hamburg 
to hear Reinken play the organ, and to Celle, where 
the ducal band had a great reputation for its playing of 
French dance music. 

At the age of eighteen he was appointed organist of 
a church at Arnstadt, with light duties that left him 

plenty of leisure for study. Coming to 

differences with the church authorities, 
partly by reason of outstaying his leave of absence in 
order to study Buxtehude's style at Liibeck, and 

J. S. Bach 

perhaps still more from his manner of playing, which 
had all the exuberance of youthful genius uncontrolled 
by experience, he changed this post for one inr-cf 

at Miihlhausen in 1707. Here he took steps 
to have the organ renovated, for it had 
fallen into disrepair; but his position soon became 
intolerable, owing to the bigotry of a sect called the 
Pietists, who, like many of the sectaries of that time, 
had no artistic perceptions, and consequently held the 
doctrine that music was "worldly," and inconsistent 
with what they considered a Christian life. He there- 
fore accepted a post as Court-organist and 
Concert-meister (i.e., leading violinist of the _~ . 
orchestra) to the Duke of Saxe-Weimar. 
Here he found full opportunity, under a cultured and 
wide-minded employer, to pursue his studies; and at 
this period not only were many of his organ works 
composed, but he also gained his astonishing mastery 
over the manuals and pedals. His organ was a small 
one, having only seventeen stops on its manuals and 
seven on its pedal, but it was a very good one; and it 
is remarkable that though he was the greatest organist 
of his time, he never was appointed to an important 
organ. 1 The post at Weimar was in fact the last he 
held as organist, and he quite quitted it in 1717 for 
Cothen, where he became Capellmeister to Prince 
Leopold of Anhalt-Cothen. 

Being now free from the annoyances which seem 

1 Probably the reason was that great as he was as an executant, he 
was still greater as a composer. 


Story of Organ Music 

almost inseparable from musical work in connection 
with a church, 1 he was able to give free rein to his 
powers as a concert-player, making frequent journeys 
to places where large organs were to be found. 

But this happy state of things did not last for more 
than five years. The prince married, and his wife, having 
no interest in music, became jealous of its professors, 
and Bach found it necessary to leave. 

In 1723, therefore, he took the post of Cantor at St. 

Thomas's Church, Leipsic, where his greatest works 

. in every branch of music were produced, 

lpslc and where he remained till his death in 1750. 

His duties were to compose the necessary music, to 

train the choir, and conduct the orchestra and choir 

in the church festivals and on Sundays ; and from the 

importance of the work he did here, he is often referred 

to as " the great Cantor." 

His numerous organ works are published in several 
editions, one of the best known being that of 

w> t 

~ c Peters of Leipsic, in which they occupy nine 

M rg< volumes ; and we shall find it convenient to refer 
to the volumes and numbers of this edition. 

1 The root of many of the petty annoyances to which competent 
musicians are so often subjected when they accept organ posts seems 
to be that the exponents of religion are usually, from the nature of 
their profession, conservative, looking backward to precedent; while 
the musician, building on what has gone before, and being the exponen 
of a growing and advancing art, is naturally progressive, and looks for- 
ward : the one lives for the past, the other for the future, and friction 
arises from this difference of outlook, though it is unwittingly attributed 
to other causes. 


Bach's Organ Works 

Volume I. contains six sonatas, or trios, and a 
passacaglia, not written for the organ, but for the 
clavichord with two manuals and pedals, specimens 
of which are now very rare. 1 They were intended as 
studies for his son Friedemann, and though their style 
is more suitable to a non-sustaining instrument, the 
trios sound well on the organ if played with soft 
stops of equal power but contrasted tone. They are 
modelled on the Italian chamber sonata and the Italian 
concerto for a solo instrument, consisting of three 
separate movements, of which the first and last are 
generally quick and the second slow. The two hands 
play imitative passages to a moving pedal bass. 

The passacaglia was intended as a more advanced 
exercise on the two manual and pedal clavichord. It is 
modelled on the similar works of Buxtehude, but it 
partakes as much of the nature of the chaconne as of 
the passacaglia, and it ends with a fugue, reversing the 
practice of Buxtehude, who used to begin his chaconnes 
with a fugue. Commencing with the theme on the pedals 
alone, pianissimo^ the accompaniment enters at the first 
repetition, quietly and with little movement, becoming 
more and more animated as new figures appear. The 
pedals themselves join in the growing excitement: the 
theme is converted into its accompanying figure: more 
and more notes crowd in, the theme suddenly leaps 

1 There is a well-preserved example in the De Witte Museum, 
facing St. Thomas's Church, Leipsic. Organists used the pedal 
clavichord for practice, to save the expense of the many blowers 
required for the organ. 


Story of Organ Music 

from the pedals to the upper part of the manual, then 
the pedals are silent for a moment, only to join later on 
in the bustle and movement of the manuals. The 
theme, though always present, is now veiled under 
great arpeggios rushing from the bottom to the top of 
the keyboard. Magnificent crashes of sound in double 
and triple suspensions follow, the two hands break into 
a furious torrent of triplets, and the music, as if ex- 
hausted, becomes more placid, and gives way to a 
lengthy fugue on the theme. Intended as a mere 
practice piece, it resulted in a composition of the 
greatest beauty and variety. 

In contrast is the unfinished Pastorale, which con- 
cludes this volume : a quiet, soothing piece, as its name 

The second, third, and fourth volumes of this edition 
contain the greatest of the organ works, apart from the 
Choralvorspiele. Bach was always polish- 
Preludes, m g anc j repolishing his compositions: like 
fugues, Handel, he seems to have added some new im- 
provements for each new performance. The 
Fantasias ^ rst two num bers of Volume II. were written 
at Weimar or Cothen, and assumed the form 
in which we know them at Leipsic. The C major 
Prelude has a certain amount of feeling in common with 
the energetic and vigorous fugue in C minor for violin 
and figured bass. The G major Prelude, with its 
tremendous reiterated chords and its stormy pedal 
passages, seems like a giant at play, and we can 
imagine how Bach must have revelled in the ocean of 


Bach's Organ Works 

sound he produced. The Prelude and Fugue in A, No. 3, 
of a tranquil character, in contrast to the first two, is, 
like them, an earlier work, improved at Leipsic. 

The great G minor Fantasia and Fugue, No. 4, is one 
of the most powerful of his early productions. It is 
based on the Buxtehude models, and the theme went 
through several important changes before it attained its 
present shape. Two-thirds of the fantasia consist of 
interchanges of wild recitative with closely worked 
imitative passages, and these give way to an interlude, 
in which the boldest modulations, regardless of the 
tuning of the organ, are led through massive chords in 
five and six parts, on a moving pedal bass, which 
pursues its majestic course down the scale, re- 
gardless of the tumult above it. The composer 
rejoices in masses of sound and startling modulations 
such as no man ever heard before. Now there is 
a return to the recitative of the beginning, and the 
fantasia closes. Buxtehude had done the same kind of 
thing before; and Frescobaldi, before him, had given 
vent to his aspirations through bold modulations: 
they were the pioneers, who made it possible for Bach 
to put all the force of his imagination into these 
masterpieces, unfettered by a pedantic conventionalism. 
Without the works of his predecessors, Bach's would 
have been impossible. 

The well-known G minor Fugue is one of the many 
examples of how Bach delighted in setting himself tech- 
nical tasks of the greatest intricacy and difficulty, and 
then making them entirely subservient to his will, so 

13* - K 

Story of Organ Music 

that everything seems to flow as easily as running- 
water: the greater the difficulty, the more easily and 
triumphantly does he overcome it, and, as it were, 
laugh at it, as in the triple counterpoint in the fugue. 
The practice of writing triple counterpoint is a part 
of the regular training of every student of composition, 
for it is an excellent mental gymnastic exercise; but 
how many have succeeded in infusing spontaneity and 
life into this dry-as-dust and difficult kind of study? 
Yet here we have Bach rejoicing in it, playing with it, 
and producing an example which not only appeals to 
musicians by the wonderful skill displayed in its construc- 
tion, but sounds so spontaneous and natural that the 
lay hearer perceives nothing remarkable beyond the 
beauty of the music ; so careful is Bach of the maxim ars 
estcelare artetn. And, as if this was not enough, as the 
fugue proceeds, ever with increasing animation, new 
counterpoints appear above and below the triple 
example: the fund of invention is inexhaustible, and 
the fugue, of which the theme itself at once arrests the 
attention by its vigour, increases in interest from 
beginning to end: all artifice is concealed under the 
intense appeal to the emotions. 1 

The great Prelude in C minor, No. 6 of this volume, 
dates from the time when the composer was at 

1 But it is quite easy for an unimaginative organist to play through 
this wonderful piece in such a correct, cold, and unresponsive manner, as 
to make it utterly repulsive. " I do not like to hear Bach's music played 
in church," said the musical vicar of a London church; "it sounds 
to me as if the Devil had broken loose on the organ." 


Bach's Organ Works 

the zenith of his powers. Here he has become 
entirely independent of his forerunners, and has de- 
veloped a style and form completely his own. The 
Fugue is an earlier work, and is of less interest 
than the Prelude. The remaining numbers in this 
volume, like the Prelude, No. 6, also date from his 
Leipsic period that is to say, from the time of the com- 
plete maturity of his powers. They are "stupendous 
creations, in which are embodied the highest qualities 
that Bach could put into this branch of art." 1 The only 
exception is in the Prelude in A minor, No. 8, which is 
an earlier work, and reflects Buxtehude's manner. The 
C major Fugue, No. 7 of this volume, reminds us of 
Pachelbel's chorale-fugue form, for the pedals, after 
being silent till near the end, make their first entry as 
the fifth voice, in an augmentation of the theme. 

The first two numbers of Volume III., the Prelude and 
Fugue in E flat, and the great Toccata in F, also belong 
to the Leipsic period. The Fugue in E flat, known in 
England as "the St. Ann Fugue," from the fortuitous 
resemblance of its subject to the first line of the hymn 
tune of that name, is in three sections, as in the old 
Italian model, and its three fugues are intimately con- 
nected in a most ingenious way ; for in the second and 
third, the theme of the first comes in, now above, now 
below, not rigidly and stiffly, but modified with con- 
summate art, in order to conceal the artifice, and 
blended with the new fugues, while retaining its own 

1 Spitta, Bach t vol. iii. p. 209. 

Story of Organ Music 

The Toccata in F, with its great pedal solos, em- 
bracing the whole compass of the most modern pedal- 
board, its canon, repeated in inversion, its 
mr rt t 

triple counterpoint, its enormous energy, and 

its magnificent modulation at the end into 
the r major 

Toccata t ^ ie k fiv ^ ^ ^ at 1S another striking instance 
of how Bach loved to play with the greatest 
technical difficulties, and to make them the absolute 
slaves of his musical ideas. It was a favourite piece 
with Mendelssohn: "The F major Toccata, with the 
modulation at the end, sounded as if the church would 
tumble down. He was a tremendous cantor!" says 
Mendelssohn, in a letter to his family from Sargans, 
dated September 3rd, 1831. 

The Toccata and Fugue No. 3 of this volume is 
called " Dorian," perhaps because there is no B flat in 
the signature, but it is really in D minor, the flat being 
introduced where necessary as an accidental, a common 
practice in those days. This piece was composed at 
Weimar, and the name Dorian was doubtless accepted 
as a convenient means of distinguishing the composition 
from another great toccata and fugue in the same key. 

The Prelude and Fugue No. 4, also in D minor, is an 
arrangement for the organ of the G minor Fugue of the 
first sonata for violin solo. It was not at all uncommon 
for composers to transfer their compositions from one 
instrument to another: not to write them out note for 
note, but to study the different means of expression 
available on the other instrument, and to re-write the 
piece with this in view. 


Bach's Organ Works 

The Prelude and Fugue in G minor, No. 5, is an 
early work, showing 1 the influence of Buxtehude. The 
next composition, No. 6, is called Fantasia and Fugue: 
by "fantasia" Bach meant a free composition founded 
on one or two short motives, which constantly recurred, 
without necessarily following the strict rules of fugue, 
and did not extend to the length of an ordinary fugue 

The great C major Prelude and Fugue is supposed to 
have been written in the early days at Arnstadt, about 
1717, for his own use when invited to play at other 
places. It is a display piece, and is superscribed 
" Concertato" in some of the MSS., an indication that 
it was intended for what we call an "organ recital," 
and the Germans call an " organ concert." It is in the 
Northern style, of several movements, and the influence 
of Buxtehude and Frescobaldi is seen, not only in the 
form, but in the final section, whose triple measure 
subject is derived from the first bar of the first fugue 
subject. The Prelude and the first Fugue are also 
found in the key of E major, probably to suit the pitch 
of some particular organ. 

The great Toccata and Fugue in C major, No. 8, also 
intended for display, is an attempt to adapt the Italian 
three-movement concerto to the organ. Bach, how- 
ever, seemed not to have found it satisfactory, as he 
did not use it again. The exceedingly beautiful Adagio 
in A minor is the only example he has left of a long 
cantabile solo for one manual, accompanied on a second 
manual and pedal : it is after the model of one at least 


Story of Organ Music 

of Bohm's Choralvorspiele, in which the latter places 
the melody in the right hand, and embellishes it with 
innumerable ornaments, while Bach writes an original 
melody, and accompanies it in Bohm's manner. 

No. 9, in A minor, is quite an early work, in which 
two short fugues, one single, the other double, are 
separated by an interlude, and have no connection with 
one another; while the piece finishes with a coda, con- 
taining reminiscences of the Prelude. The influence of 
Buxtehude is seen in the double shake of the prelude, 
and the pedal shake at the end of the fugue. 

The little E minor Prelude and Fugue No. 10 is a 
masterpiece of mournful feeling, of the untranslatable 
word "Sehnsucht." Here again Buxtehude's double 
shakes appear in the prelude. The melancholy is still 
more intense in the fugue, which seems to express the 
utmost that the organ is capable of in this direction. 
It was formerly the habit of some organists to play the 
mordent with a semitone, instead of a tone below the 
principal note, thus destroying its tonality and ruining 
the effect of the subject, which thereby became common- 

Volume IV. opens with a brilliant Prelude and Fugue 
in C major, composed at Weimar. No. 2, a Prelude, 
with a long Fugue in G, was also composed at Weimar. 
The pedal solo in the prelude appears to have been 
suggested by the Weimar organ, which had special 
excellence in this department. The prelude is in triple 
time, an unusual feature. 

The Prelude and Fugue in D, No. 3, is a particularly 

Bach's Organ Works 

splendid and brilliant " concertato " piece, written for 
the composer's concert tours. It is in Buxtehude's 
manner, with double pedal (in the few bars of adagio), 
and the fugue subject, with its rest in the second bar, 
seems to have been suggested by a subject of the older 
master. The brilliant recitative passages, mixed with 
great chords, in the next work (Toccata and Fugue in D 
minor, No. 4) are also after the manner of Buxtehude ; 
as is the restless movement of the fugue, which never 
ceases for one moment in its perpetual flow of semi- 
quavers, sometimes being in four, sometimes in three, 
two, and even only one part. The return to recitative 
passages at the end of the fugue is also an indication of 
its early origin. 

No. 5, in C minor, is another of the Arnstadt works, 
and seems to have been written before he had gained that 
independence and mastery over the pedal for which he 
was afterwards so remarkable. It will be noticed that, 
brilliant as it is, the pedal part is used in a manner that 
presents little difficulty to the executant. 

The Fugue in C minor, No. 6, is very interesting. It 
was written at Arnstadt, and is entitled in the MSS. : 
Thema Legrenzianum, elaboration cum subjecto pedaliter. 
The theme is by Legrenzi, an Italian organist and com- 
poser of note, and the " subjectum," which enters at the 
thirty-fourth bar, is the theme of a new fugue. At bar 
seventy a double fugue commences on the combined 
"thema" and "subjectum." Thus Bach adopts the 
old Italian form used by Frescobaldi, and imposes his 
own feeling for unity on it by combining the two themes 


Story of Organ Music 

at the end. The coda, of mere display passages, has 
no connection with what has gone before, and is some- 
times omitted in the MSS. 

The Fugue in G minor, No. 7, is an early work: 
the countersubject is principally founded on broken 
chords, easy to compose, and easy to play. The 
result is, however, so harmonious that the fugue is 
very popular. 

The Fugue in B minor, No. 8, is another adaptation 
from an Italian source, the subject and countersubject 
being from a violin sonata by Corelli. The Fugue in C 
minor, No. 9, another of the earliest works, is almost 
Beethovenish in the way it purposely begins by puzzling 
the hearer as to its tonality and rhythm. The pedal 
here only enters at the coda, and takes no part in the 

We now come to the only example of the Canzona 
(No. 10) left by Bach, a form which was produced in 
hundreds by his Italian and German predecessors. He 
makes it into an Italian fugue, having two sections, the 
second being in the orthodox triple measure, with 
Buxtehude's method of making its subject grow out of 
the first. He does not begin with the orthodox dactyl, 
but this peculiarity of the canzona is found in four out 
of the eight bars of the subject, not baldly stated, 
but hidden under the melody. The chromatic counter- 
subject, and, in fact, the whole tranquil flow of the 
piece, have a most melodious and beautiful effect. 

No. u, a Fantasia in G, in five parts, is of the 
nature of a grave and dignified extempore piece, pre- 


Bach's Organ Works 

ceded and followed by brilliant passages as a foil to the 
gravity of the principal movement. The five parts 
never cease introducing the short motive of five notes 
only; it is heard over and over again, always with 
fresh life and interest. This is another in the long list 
of works inspired by Buxtehude and Bruhns. 

The five-part Fantasia in C minor, No. 12, is also 
founded on a subject with only a few notes. It is an 
early work, and was sometimes used by the composer 
as a prelude to the fugue on Legrenzi's theme. 

The Prelude in G, No. 13, is really of the nature 
of a Fantasia from the perpetual recurrence of 
the short figure of four notes. It was composed at 

The Trio, No. 14, owing to its innumerable nianieren 
and the absence of sostenuto notes, seems to have been 
written more for the clavichord than the organ. 

We have dwelt at some length on those works of Bach 
which are best known in England, because we wished 
to show the historical development of the music which 
culminated in him. Following the instincts of his 
nature, he began by taking what was best of every 
style, and infusing his own spirit into it; and then, 
when he had exhausted all known forms, he threw his 
gigantic genius and his great culture, together with the 
profoundest knowledge of all that pertained to his art, 
into the work, and produced the series of original 
masterpieces of the Leipsic period. 

But the works we have already discussed by no 
means exhaust the list: the next three volumes of 


Story of Organ Music 

Peters's collection contain a vast number of pieces 

which for convenience are all grouped under the general 

name of Choralvorspiele, but should more 

properly be distinguished as Vorspiele for 
vorspiele \ 

use during the service, and Chorale arrange- 
ments intended for organ recitals. We do not propose 
to discuss them in detail, since they do not make the 
same appeal to English hearers as to Germans, who 
are familiar with the words and tunes of their chorales 
from infancy, and in whose family life they take a large 
place. These works of Bach exhibit the same process 
of evolution as those we have been considering: taking 
as his models the Vorspiele and Chorale arrangements 
of Pachelbel, Froberger, Buxtehude, Bruhns, and 
others, his genius was as evident in all that he did in 
this as in every other branch. The Chorale sank deep 
into his soul, and formed the groundwork of many of 
his greatest works, both vocal and instrumental. 

Those who have had opportunities of hearing his 
Passion music and his church cantatas will have some 
idea of what he did with this peculiarly German form of 
music; and as he adapted the Chorale for voices and 
instrument, so did he make it also yield the most 
beautiful music for the organ. 

The eighth volume of Peters contains four con- 
certos, arranged from the violin concertos of Vivaldi, 

-, with Bach's own additions and improve- 

Concertos , r . 

ments. They were composed at Weimar, 

where Italian music was very much in favour, and 
where Bach and his cousin, J. G. Walther, the lexico- 


grapher, vied with each other in arranging 1 Italian 
concertos for the organ and harpsichord. Bach, how- 
ever, found the three-movement form ineffective for the 
organ, and only used it once for an important original 

The eight "Little Preludes and Fugues" are supposed 
to have been written for the use of his numerous pupils. 

Volume IX. was published long after the rest, and 
contains some very interesting early works, which had 
hitherto remained in MS. in private collections. 

The eminently German nature of Bach's music may 
account perhaps to some extent for its remaining so 
long in MS. and unappreciated by the world, and 
musicians in general. In the second half of the 
eighteenth and the first half of the nineteenth centuries, 
there were no organs in existence out of Germany and 
Holland on which his music could be played; moreover, 
the influence of Italy, especially Italian opera, was 
paramount in the musical world, and everything was 
judged more or less from an Italian point of view. 
The organ concertos of Han3el have nothing Tn 
common with Bach's organ works; they are Italian 
in style; they were not written for large organs, and, 
with one exception, have no independent pedal. More- 
over, they were not intended for church use, but merely 
as interludes between the acts of opera and oratorio; 
and they are as much adapted for the harpsichord as 
the organ. 

During Bach's life there were scores of capable organ 
composers and players in Germany, but there was no 


Story of Organ Music 

one who in any way approached him in genius and in 
execution. He stood alone, a giant far overtopping his 
fellows ; and after his death the rise of orchestral music 
under Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Men- 
delssohn, Schumann, and others, left the organ to a 
certain extent in the background, until it was again 
brought into prominence in the latter half of the nine- 
teenth century. 




The organ in France First French publication French tablature 
Titelouze Gigault Raison French preference for reed stops 
Le Begue French organs D'Anglebert Chambonnieres The 
Couperins Marchand Rameau Bedos de Celles- 

THE first church organ built in France, so far as is 

recorded, was at Fecamp, between the mouth of the 

Seine and Dieppe, in the twelfth century. 

It raised a storm of opposition, but in the 4 

end was suffered to remain, and the organ 

in course of time took the same place in France as in 

other countries. 

We do not meet with a school of French composers 
until the beginning of the . sixteenth century, though 
there are plenty of references to organists 

before that date. Their number are suffi- 

. . . .... .. ... A . . French 

cient in 1530 to justify the publication in ~ .. . 

that year of five large volumes of organ 
music, by a printer named Pierre Attaingnant (the 
name is variously spelled), of Paris. This work, which 
is not mentioned by Fe"tis or Grove, is described by 
Ritter. It consists of a collection of magnificats, Te 
Deums, preludes, kyries, motets, secular songs, and 

Story of Organ Music 

dance music, " Le tout mys en tablature des orgues, 
espinettes, et manichordions, et telz saimbables instru- 
mentz." Espinette and manichordion are the old 
French names for the spinet, or harpsichord, and 
clavichord respectively. 

The French tablature for "organs, spinets, and 
clavichords, and such-like instruments," was in one 
_ respect even more advanced than that of 

j. , . Italy, for it was written on two staves of 

five lines each, instead of the varying 
number of Italian organists. But in other respects, it 
was behind them, since there were no bar lines, and all 
the notes were white, except the semiquaver, which was 
black. Another detail, which must have led to con- 
fusion, was that the raising of any note a semitone 
higher was indicated by a dot placed under it, instead 
of by a natural or sharp, while all notes to be lowered 
were shown with a flat before them. The printing of 
this collection is full of errors, especially with regard to 
the bass; and many notes are omitted, which can, how- 
ever, be discovered by the context. The collection 
consists of the works of a large number of French 
composers, and the music is of an advanced order, 
showing all the skill that had up to then been acquired 
in Italy and Germany, to which was added the French 
characteristic of ease and lightness, without triviality, 
and a facility on the pedals even greater than that of 
German players. Ritter observes that French com- 
posers, while very competent contrapuntists, made 
their counterpoint more subservient to pleasant and 


French Organ Music 

harmonious effect than their German contemporaries; 
that they made more effort to please their audience 
than to exhibit their command over counterpoint. 

Though they had not yet arrived at complete smooth- 
ness in connecting the various sections of a composition, 
they had made a considerable advance in this direction ; 
and they managed to avoid harshness and dryness to a 
greater degree than their Italian and German con- 
temporaries. The national characteristic of graceful- 
ness showed itself in their organ music, and though 
their works often contain the conventional figures of 
the time, these are not so tiresomely frequent as in 
Italian music. 

" Putting into tablature " meant with them the same 
as in other countries namely, arranging vocal music 
for the organ, with the addition of all kinds of orna- 
ments. Nearly half of Attaingnant's collection consists 
of "chansons," arranged more especially for the organ 
than for the other instruments: these are, of course, 
the songs in three and four parts, called in Italy 
Canzone francesi, which were so popular in all countries. 
The names of the various composers are not mentioned. 
The original pieces i.e., those not founded on a canto 
fernto, or arranged from a vocal work are, to judge by 
a prelude quoted by Ritter, no more advanced than the 
Italian works of the same kind: this particular prelude 
consists of scale passages, aimlessly wandering up and 
down, with accompanying chords. 

The French have always been an art-loving nation, 
and many important musical developments are due to 


Story of Organ Music 

them. They brought organ-building and organ-playing 
to a high degree of efficiency, differing in style from 
that of the Germans as the national tem- 
perament differs, for the art of any nation 
is but an expression of national tempera- 
and Plavine mentt From the sixteenth century onwards 
French organists have laid more stress on 
the effective management of stops than on the excellence 
of the composition itself. This is, in a sense, putting 
the cart before the horse; but it is done so gracefully 
that few will be disposed to cavil at it. 

In 1626 there was published at Paris Magnificat de 
tons les tons, avec les verse ts, pour I'orgue, by Jean 
Titelouze, a priest of St. Omer, and canon 
and organist of the cathedral of Rouen, 
which place he obtained after a competition in 1588, 
and occupied for forty-five years. His organ composi- 
tions are, according to Ftis, of considerable merit, and 
seem to have much in common with the style of 
Froberger. Titelouze left two capable pupils to carry 
on his work, Nicolas Gigault and Andre^ Raison. 
There seems to be no doubt that they were his pupils, 
but there is considerable confusion with regard to the 
dates. F^tis gives the birth of Gigault as 1645, and 
says that he was taught by Titelouze, "organist at 
Paris," who, he says, died in 1633. Perhaps there 
were two organists of the name of Titelouze. 
Gigault, says Ftis, was one of the "good 
French organists of the seventeenth-century school, 
which was superior to that of the eighteenth." He 


Andre Raison 

published in 1685 Livre de musique pour I'orgue, con- 
tenant plus de cent quatre-mngts pieces de tous les 
caracteres, dedies a la Vierge. In the same year he also 
published Li-vre de Noels 1 diversifies (i.e., with varia- 
tions), a deux, trois, et quatres parties. 

Of the other pupil of Titelouze, Andre" Raison, Ritter 
places the birth at about 1650. He became organist of 

the abbey of St. Genevieve in Paris in 1687, _ , 

r ' i- r Kaison 

and in the following year published his Livre 

d'Orgue, containing- masses, an offertoire, and a piece 
in imitation of Froberger's descriptive music, entitled 
"Vive le Roy," for the festival held on the recovery of 
Louis XIV. from illness. The object of the work was 
"to show organists, both male and female, who are 
shut up in provincial cloisters, how to make use of the 
excellent novelties and the increase in the number of 
keyboards introduced by modern organ-builders." He 
gives the fingering of the passages and an explanation 
of the numerous " Agrmens," a kind of musical short- 
hand, first introduced by the organist Chambonnieres, 
which was spreading over Europe. They were the out- 
come of the innumerable ornaments with which it was 
the fashion to embellish all music, and which had be- 
come stereotyped in formulas which every musician was 
supposed to know by heart. 2 

1 " Noels" are Christmas songs or carols. 

2 For the history and explanation of the Agremens, the reader should 
consult Grove's Dictionary of Afustc, 1904 edition, vol. i. p. 52, and 
Novello's Primer, Musical Ornamentation, by E. Dannreuther. There 
seems to have been a rage for abbreviations of every description at this 

147 L 

Story of Organ Music 

Raison's music shows considerable command of the 
instrument, especially with regard to the stops. Al- 
though reed stops were invented in Germany, 
Frcnct French organ-builders were the first to make 
any considerable use of them, and French 
Stops organists have always shown a preference 

for them over the fluework. So strong is 
their predilection for reed tone that it has led them to 
the invention of the harmonium, which is called in 
France the " orgue expressif," and so great a musician 
as Berlioz actually seems to have preferred it to the 
organ ! l 

Raison writes a Kyrie in the second tone, and calls it 
"Fugue sur la Trompette ou Cromorne"; it is not a 
fugue in the modern sense, but a piece in which a 
short motive constantly occurs, such as would be 
played on the flue stops in Germany or England. The 
pedal only enters at the final cadence. But his use of 
the reeds is still more noticeable in a Kyrie on the first 
tone, which, by the way, is really in the Dorian mode, 
not altered to D minor by accidentals. The piece 
begins with a dignified motive in four parts for the 

time, some of which took more space and time to write than the words 
or notes they represented. The Greek Treatises on Music pub- 
lished by Wallis and Meibomius abound in the most extraordinary 
abbreviations, rendering them illegible without considerable study, and 
necessitating an amount of extra type that must have added considerably 
to the cost of printing. 

1 Berlioz, Instrumentation, translated by Mary Cowden Clarke, 2nd 
ed. p. 128. 


Le Begue 

great organ, " plein jeu" that is to say, "full with- 
out reeds." At the fifth bar the pedal enters with the 
principal motive on its highest D, "Pedalle de Trom- 
pette en Taille," which means that the pedal is to play 
the first tenor part on its eight-feet trumpet stop ; the 
bass and second tenor being allotted to the left hand, 
and the treble and alto to the right. The piece ought 
to sound very effective, but it would be impossible to 
play it on an ordinary English three-manual organ, as 
the eight-feet trumpet is practically unknown on the 
pedal; and if the trumpet of the great organ were 
coupled to the pedal, there would be no " plein jeu " for 
the hands. 

Nicolas Antoine le Begue was born in 1630, and died 
in 1702. He was court organist to the king, and one 
of the finest organists in France. In 1676 T R . 
he published three books of Pieces d'Orgue, 
of which the first was specially intended "pour les 
Sc.auans " i.e., Savans the second and third for 
players of medium capacity. He was a thorough 
master of counterpoint, and more advanced than the 
Germans in technical skill and management of the 
stops. His book contains offertoires and symphonies, 
the latter being pieces in two or three movements, the 
first of which was grave, the second a fugue, in quick 
time, and the third, if any, a gavotte or other dance. 
The form is the same as that adopted by Handel in 
the next century for his overtures. Le Begue's book 
further contains Noels, Elevations, Mass music, Magni- 
ficats, Preludes, solos for various stops, trios for two 


Story of Organ Music 

manuals and pedal, dialogues for two manuals. The 
French organists well knew how to make use of the 
contrasts afforded by the interchanges between several 

manuals. The names they gave to the 
o rcl manuals, of which the large organs had at 

least three and sometimes four and even 
five, were Grand Orgue, which contained much the 
same number and kinds of stops as the Hauptwerk of a 
large German organ; Posittf, answering to the Positiv 
of Germany, and the Choir organ of England ; Clavier 
des Bombards, entirely of powerful reed-stops ; Clavier 
du Rectt, of a trumpet and a cornet; 1 and Echo, con- 
sisting of a stop or stops enclosed in a box to give the 
effect of distance. The compass of the pedal was larger 
than it is now, as it extended from F below the C of 
the German pedal-board to thirty-six notes ; but it was 
afterwards reduced to the thirty of the present day, 
starting from C. The Tremulant was as popular as it 
was in Germany, and each large instrument had at least 
two. Curiously enough the pedal does not seem to 
have been intended for the bass, but for the tenor part, 
as we have seen in Raison's kyrie ; for in the description 
given by Dom Bedos of an ordinary organ, the pedal 
has only eight and four-feet stops namely, flute 8 feet, 
flute 4 feet, trumpet 8 feet, and clarion 4 feet, and there 
is no i6-feet stop. A favourite stop was, as it still is, 
the voix humaine. Le Begue arranges a charming 

1 When the swell, invented by the English builder Jordan, had 
become an integral part of the organ, the French gave it the name of 


French Organists 

little quaint Noel, "Or nous ditte Marie, " pour la voix 
humaine, in which sometimes the solo, sometimes all 
the parts are to be played on this stop. A somewhat 
monotonous Offertoire in C minor is relieved by con- 
stant change between the " Grand jeu " (full organ with 
reeds) in both hands, or in one hand, with Recit in the 
other, and the " Plein jeu." Both pieces are full of 
agremens, in accordance with the taste of the time. 

Jean Henri d'Anglebert, the Chamber Clavecjnist to 
Louis XIV., published in 1689 Pieces de Clavecin, avec 
la maniere de j'ouer, diverscs cJiacones, ouver- 
tares, et autres airs de Monsieur de Lully, mis 
sur cet instrument, quelques fugues pour I'orgue, et les 
principes de I'accompagnement, of which the best German 
and Italian organists were glad to avail themselves. 
The organ music forms a supplement to the volume, 
and amongst other things, it contains a quartet for 
three manuals and pedal, two of the parts to be played 
with one hand on two keyboards, in the way that we 
have become familiar with through the works of M. F. A. 
Guilmant. This shows that the French keyboards 
must have been very conveniently placed, for such 
playing would have been impossible on the organs of 
other countries. 

Jacques Champion de Chambonnieres came of a 
musical family, his father and grandfather having both 
been celebrated organists in the reign of 
Louis XIII. His real name was Champion, D * Ch f f m - 
to which he added Chambonnieres on his 
marriage with the heiress of an estate of that name, 


Story of Organ Music 

in the province of Brie. Louis XIII. made him his first 
chamber clavecjnist, and he is described as drawing 
a sweeter quality of sound from his instrument than 
any other artist. He had numerous pupils, amongst 
whom were Le Begue, D'Anglebert, and the brothers 
Couperin, all of whom handed down his style of play- 
ing. He died in 1670, and appears to have left no 
organ music ; but, like Sweelinck of Amsterdam, he had 
an important influence on the development of organ 
music through his pupils. 

More celebrated than any we have hitherto described 

amongst the French organists of this period, were the 

members of the Couperin family, who, like 

Couperin the Kochs of South Germany, and the Bachs 

of Thuringia, had a hereditary talent for 
organ-playing, which ran through many generations. 
The family first came into prominence through three 
brothers, born at Chaume, in Brie, all of whom were 
pupils of Chambonnieres Louis, Francois, and 

Louis was born in 1630, the same year as Le Begue. 
He went to Paris as a young man, and obtained the 
post of organist at St. Gervais, and later on at the 
Chapel Royal. He died at the age of thirty-five, and 
left three suites for clavecin only. Francois was born 
in 1631, and from 1679 to 1698 was organist of St. 
Gervais. He died at the age of seventy, from the 
effects of being run over by a cart. He left Pieces 
d'orgue, consistantes en deux messes, . . . 1690. He 
was preceded at St. Gervais by his younger brother, 


The Couperins 

Charles, who was born in 1638, and had become an 
organist of great reputation, but died at the age of 
thirty-seven. The post at St. Gervais afterwards went 
to Nicolas, a son of Francois, and seems to have become 
a sort of "family living" of the Couperin family, 
members of whom continued to hold it till 1815. The 
most famous of the family was Francois, the son of 
Charles, born in 1668, who received the name of 
"Couperin le Grand," from his superiority to all the 
other French organists of his time. He succeeded to 
the organistship of St. Gervais in 1698, and was shortly 
afterwards made clavec.inist and organist to the king. 
He died in 1733, leaving two daughters, one of whom 
took the veil and became organist in a convent, and 
the other became clavec. iniste to the king. Of Couperin's 
importance in the history of pianoforte music this is 
not the place to speak; he left several collections of 
clavecin music, but nothing specially for the organ, 
in spite of his great reputation on that instrument. 

Another family famous in the annals of French music 
was that of Marchand, but only one of them was 

an organist, the rest being for the most 

, . , T Marchand 

part stringed - instrument players. Louis 

Marchand was born at Lyons in 1669, and at the 
age of fourteen became organist of the cathedral of 
Nevers. Later in life he attained so much fame at 
Paris that he was offered several posts, all of which 
he seems to have accepted at the same time, for he 
is said to have been organist of the king's chapel at 
Versailles, of the Jesuits' church in Paris, and of three 


Story of Organ Music 

or four other churches; but his conduct becoming un- 
satisfactory, he lost them all, and had to leave Paris. 
He had a great reputation as a player, but the few 
compositions he published show that he was merely 
a producer of brilliant trivialities of the most super- 
ficial order. He is best known at the present day 
through the story of a contest between him and 
Sebastian Bach at Dresden, which was arranged, but 
never came off, the details of which are too familiar 
to bear repetition. After fleeing from Dresden to 
escape inevitable defeat by Bach, he returned to Paris. 
Rameau, who was unacquainted with the degree of 
excellence to which Italian and German music had 
reached by this time, considered that no one could 
compare with Marchand as a master of fugue, and 
he could not conceive it possible that any one could 
vie with him in power of improvisation. It is probable 
that this opinion, coming from the greatest French 
composer and theorist of the day, emboldened Marchand 
to contemplate measuring his strength with one so 
immeasurably his superior as Bach. On his return 
to Paris he was much sought as a fashionable teacher, 
receiving as much as a louis d'or for each lesson. 
Yet his extravagance was such that he died in poverty, 
in 1732. He is an example of a musician of brilliant 
and superficial attainments, who "catches on" for a 
time with a frivolous and fashionable public, and is 
forgotten when some new attraction appears. 

Jean Philippe Rameau was born at Dijon, where 
his father was an organist, in 1683. His chief fame 



rests on his operas, ballets, and other music for the 
theatre, and his theoretical treatises. As an organist 
he held posts successively at Lille and Cler- 

mont, where his younger brother resigned in -n 

u- r u u j * Rameau 

his favour. Here he made a great reputation 

as an extempore player; and in 1732, when he was fifty 
years old, he left Clermont for Paris, where he became 
organist of a church, and had opportunities of bringing 
out his operas, besides becoming a fashionable music- 
master. He now had the reputation of being the 
greatest French organist, his friend and rival, Marchand, 
having died ; and he took the opportunity to publish a 
work which added considerably to his repute, in spite 
of fierce adverse criticism. The title is lengthy, but 
it must be quoted on account of the curious claim 
asserted in the last sentence: Dissertation sur les 
differents methodes d 1 accompagnement pour le clavecin 
ou pour Forgue: avec le plan d'une nouvelle methode 
establiee sur une mecanique des doigts que fournit tine 
succession fondamentale de I'harmonie: et a I' aide de 
laquelle on peut devenir savant compositeur, et habile 
acconipagnateur, rneme sans savoir lire la musique. 
The idea of a system by which a person without the 
natural gift could learn to compose mechanically was 
not new; it had been attempted by Kircher eighty 
years before, by means of a Tabula mirifica, omnia 
contrapunctce artis arcana revelans, 1 with full instruc- 
tions for its use. Neither Rameau nor Kircher suc- 

1 A marvellous table, revealing all the secrets of the art of counter- 
point. (Kircher, Musurgia, vol. i. p. 363.) 


Story of Organ Music 

ceeded in making 1 composers out of unsuitable 
material, but the theories of the former are so 
scientific that they have had an influence on the teach- 
ing of harmony which has lasted till the present day. 
He published no special organ music, but a volume 
of Pieces de Clavecin, avec une table pour les agremens, 
in 1731, and a second volume a few years later. He 
died in 1764. 

Dom Jean Francois Bedos de Celles, a Benedictine 
monk (born about 1714, died 1797), claims notice, not 
as an organ-player, but as a builder, whose 
._ e s L'Art du Facteur d'Orgues gives us a great 

deal of knowledge of the condition of French 
organs in the eighteenth century. The various depart- 
ments of the instrument were described (as with the 
Germans) as of sixteen, eight, or four feet, according to 
the pitch of their respective open diapason, or montre, a 
name given to this stop from its usual position in front 
of the other pipes. Thus a so-called i6-feet keyboard 
would have as its chief foundation stop a monlre of 16 
feet : while a Positif might have nothing larger than a 
four-feet montre. This, with a Doublette of two feet, 
and some stops of the mixture species, would form the 
" Plein jeu," or full organ of the Positif. The com- 
bination suggested by Dom Bedos as proper for a slow 
fugue will strike English organists as somewhat bizarre : 
Montre of four feet, Trumpet and Clarion, on fhe Great, 
coupled to Trumpet, Clarion, and Cromorne on a second 
manual, while the pedal is to have Trumpet and Clarion, 
without any flue stops. The quick fugue, on the 


Dom Bedos 

contrary, is to be played on the chief manual, full, 
without reeds. Finally, Dom Bedos, to show the 
superiority of the organ-builder to the composer, says : 
" The more an organist understands how to exhibit the 
resources of his organ, the more will he please the 
public and himself." 




Authorities for Spanish musical history Music in a Spanish cathedral 
Spanish organs Cabezon Spanish tablature Hernando de 
Cabezon Diego de Castillo Cavigo Arraujo Lorente 
Nassarre Equal Temperament first proposed in Spain Change 
of style in organ music Eslava Portuguese music Netherlands 
music Bells and organs Bull, Phillips, and other Englishmen in 
the Netherlands Cornet Van Gheyn Sweelinck Van Noordt. 

FOR the history of organ music in Spain, the country 
in which every mule-driver is a " caballero," whose 
manners are imbued " with a courtly Spanish grace," 
and where a dignified bearing is common 
Authorities to a jj c i asses> whether don or peasant, the 

chief authorities are the work of Don 
Spanish TM . 
Music Hilanon hslava, entitled Museo organtco 

espanol, published at Madrid in 1854, and 
Hispanice Schola Musicce Sacrce, a collection of music of 
the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries, by Phillippo 

As in other things, so also in music, Spain has to 
a great extent kept apart and behind the rest of 
Europe, and one hears the most curious contrasts in 
her churches. Our experience in a certain cathedral 


Spanish Organ Music 

is perhaps worth relating-, as showing one aspect of 
modern Spanish music. The performance of the can- 
tollano, or plainsong, was an unendurable 

howl, varied by the screams of boys, a u a 
., ., . .. , Modern 

worse noise than anything that can be 

heard in an Italian cathedral. The organist, rjfa <4 ra t 
whose duty was to accompany the plainsong, 
frequently played entirely independently of it : the priest 
and the organist performed their separate parts simul- 
taneously as unconcernedly as if they were in separate 
buildings. In the interludes the organ played the most 
vapid trivialities, as this was supposed to please the 
multitude, and the impression naturally was given that 
the organist was a poor creature who could do no better. 
But the writer was invited to hear the organ when 
the cathedral was closed to the public, and to his 
surprise, the second organist, a young man of about 
twenty, after preluding a little, suddenly broke into a 
brilliant extempore performance on a rapid 
motive in B flat minor, which for nearly half- 
an-hour he worked up in good, solid, classical *npo 

style, with contrasting subjects, wide modu- f ormanc 
lations, sequences, frequent changes of re- 
gister, with a complete command of the uncomfortable 
little two-inch pedals, and all with the greatest freedom 
and ease. It seemed as if the old facility of extempore 
playing, of which Mendelssohn was perhaps the last 
great exponent, was still surviving in Spain ; for it is 
not likely that our friend was the only organist capable 
of it. But Spain is eminently a land of contradiction 


Story of Organ Music 

and pleasant surprises, and it is impossible to judge of 
her organists by their ritual performances. 

The early Spanish organs were like those of Italy. 

The pedal is, in many cases, still in an elementary stage: 

its stops are called Contras, and are played 

on by an octave of little wooden tongues, 
Organs . J . 

projecting two inches from the case, and 

having nothing to distinguish between the sharps and 
naturals, except that the former are painted black. But 
the fine organs built in late years by Belgian and 
French firms are probably well up-to-date in this, as 
in the other departments. 

As in some Italian music, the part for the contras is 
written in smaller notes than the rest, as if they were 
only there on sufferance. 

A peculiarity which came in about the middle of the 
seventeenth century is that all Spanish organs are 
"partidos" that is to say, that each stop 
p ., acts only on half the keyboard, and it has 

long been the custom to draw all the 
reeds on the right-hand side and only a few stops on 
the left, and to play brilliant passages with the right 
hand and accompany them by soft chords with the left. 
The Spaniards are immensely fond of reed-stops, with 
which their organs are more richly provided than those 
of France ; and the reed pipes are suspended from the 
case horizontally, in fan-like groups, so that their sound 
is projected into the church. 

The earliest Spanish organist of whom we have 
compositions is Don Felix Antonio Cabezon, who 


The Earliest Spanish Music 

was born at Madrid in 15 ro. 1 He became organist of 
the Chapel Royal and clavichordist to Philip II., the 

husband of the English Queen Mary. Not 

. . , r u- IT Cabezon 

much is known of his life : that he was 

much beloved is shown by his epitaph, quoted by 
Ftis to the effect that "Here lies in his sepulchre 
that Antonius who was the chief glory of the organ. 
Why should I dilate on the cognomen Cabezon, 
when his glorious renown has reached all nations, 
as his spirit has reached the stars? The palace of 
King Philip is crushed with grief, so rare is the 
ornament it has lost." He died in 1566. He left 
a work that has become so scarce that Eslava could 
find no copy in the whole of Spain, and probably the 
only existing example is that in the Royal Library at 
Berlin. Its title is, Obras de Musica para tecla, arpa^ y 
vihuela? de Antonio de Cabezon, Musico de la Camara y 
Capilla del Rey Don Philippe, nuestro Senor. Recopiladas 
y puestas en cifra por Hemando Cabezon , su hijo^ ansi 
mesimo musico de Camara y Capilla de su Mages tad. 
Dirigidas a la S.C.M. del Rey Don Philippe nuestro 
Senor. 1578. (Musical works for keyed instruments, 

1 Grove's Dictionary says that he was born blind, but does not 
mention its authority. 

2 Tecla means a single key of an organ, clavichord, etc. Teclada 
means the keyboard, and both terms are used of keyed instruments, like 
the German word clavier. Vihuela, which seems to be allied to viola 
(the letter h is silent in Spanish), is an old generic term for stringed 
instruments. Vihuela de arco refers to bowed instruments as viols, 
violins, etc. Vihuela de mano is used of guitars, lutes, and other 
plucked instruments. 


Story of Organ Music 

harp, and stringed instruments, of Antonio de Cabezon, 
Musician of the Chamber and Chapel of King Philip, 
our master. Compiled and put into tablature by Her- 
nando Cabezon, his son, also Musician of the Chamber 
and Chapel of his Majesty. Ordered by command of 
King Philip, our master.) 

The book contains no less than 400 pages of Spanish 
tablature, constructed of numerals, hence the expression 
piiestas en cifra (put into figures) in the 
j , I title. The lowest octave of the organ was 

F, and it and the next six notes above it 
were indicated by the figures i to 7, underlined. The 
next octave, f to f 1 , was shown by the figures i to 7, 
not underlined. The third octave was shown by i 1 , 2 1 
to 7 1 , and the highest octave by i 2 , 2 2 , 3 2 , etc. Values 
were shown by ordinary notes placed over the figures, 
and the result must have been even more clumsy than 
the German letter tablature. The whole work has been 
republished by Pedrell, in Hispanice Schola Musicce 
Sacra. The music is of excellent quality. There was 
in those days a great deal of intercourse between Spain 
and the Netherlands, and Netherland musicians had as 
much influence in Spain as elsewhere. The Spaniards, 
learning from the Netherlanders, produced a school of 
organ composition in which their own characteristics 
of grace and dignity were grafted on to all the tech- 
nical skill that had been acquired up to that time. 
The compositions of Cabezon's collection consist of 
nine practice pieces, contrapuntal settings of the Kyrie, 
etc., short preludes called Versos or Versillos, Glosa- 



das, Fabordones, Hymns, Magnificats, longer preludes 
called Tientos, 1 Fugas, Motets by Crequillon, Clemens 
non Papa, Mouton, Josquin, and others, treated with 
Glosas and Diferencias, or variations. 

Cabezon's "Verso del primero del tono" is a short 
prelude, beginning in the Dorian, but modulating to A 

minor, F major, and D minor, ending with 

* A T\ *u iM Cabezon's 

the major triad on D, thus, like all the more . 

advanced music of the period, showing a 
tendency towards the modern keys. All his versos and 
tientos are good solid four-part contrapuntal writing, 
the voices entering with the opening subject one after 
another, but not always in fugal order. The "Verso del 
septimo tono" shows the same tendency as the first to 
modern tonality: beginning in Mixolydian transposed, 
it ends in G minor. The "Tiento del primero tono" 
starts boldly in A minor, but afterwards wavers between 
D minor and the Dorian mode, constantly using C sharp, 
while B flat does not once occur. The part-writing 
here is of a dignified madrigal style, free from orna- 
mentation, and rather reminding us of Palestrina. His 
"Tiento del segundo tono" is quite different in character. 
Opening boldly in the key of B flat, with a slow fugue, 
which, however, is not carried beyond the first exposi- 

1 Tiento means a touch : the word " touch " was formerly used in 
England for a similar composition. It does not represent the same 
form of composition as the Italian toccata, though the word in Spanish 
for "to play" an instrument is Tocar. Glosa and glosado are the Spanish 
equivalents for Coloratura, colorato; but the glosa was of a higher order 
of art than the German Coloratur. 

163 M 

Story of Organ Music 

tion ; it is more instrumental than the last, since it has 
more movement, and there are frequent recurrences of 
the conventional turn used by all composers in those 
days. The piece continues in B flat major and G minor, 
ending with the major triad on G. 

Cabezon was the chief representative of a school as 
advanced as any in Europe, and since no department of 
art can spring suddenly into existence, it follows that 
there must have been previous Spanish organists of 
repute, of whom the records are lost, or are not yet 
brought to light. Don Juan Riano has shown that the 
Positive was used in Spain, and probably the organ 
formed a regular part of the church furniture here as 
soon as in other parts of Europe. 

Hernando de Cabezon, the son of Antonio, who suc- 
ceeded his father in his court appointments, 
Hernando , , , r c , . ... 

, -, , included a few of his own compositions in 

the Obras de Musica. They are in the same 
style as those of his father. 

Fray Thomas de Santa Maria was born at Madrid 
in the sixteenth century, and died in 1570 at Valladolid. 
He published Libra llamada Arte de Tuner fantasia, assi 
para Tecla para Vihuela, y para todo instrumento en quc 
se pudiere taner a tres y a cuatro vozes, y a mas, par el 
qual en breve tiempo y con poco trabaio, facilmente se 
podria taner fantasia. Valladolid, 1562. (Book called 
the Art of playing a fantasia, on keyed and stringed 
instruments, and on every instrument that can be 
played in three, four, or more voices. By this book one 
will be easily able to play a fantasia in a short space 


Spanish Organists 

of time, and with little labour.) The work is in two 
portions, the first of which treats of notation and the 
technique of the various stringed and keyed instru- 
ments, and the second explains the rules of composi- 
tion, with examples. It was followed in 1565 by a 
book of short pieces in the eight tones, the first of 
which is quoted by Ritter. It has the unusual signature 
of two flats, and is in the same dignified madrigal style 
as the tiento by Cabezon in the same tone. 

Other Spanish organists of renown were Don Diego 
de Castillo, organist and prebendary of the Cathedral 
of Seville, in the middle of the sixteenth 
century. Some of his vocal works are in t'li 
the library of the Escurial, and he published 
a book of organ pieces in tablature, which are described 
as of great merit, but no copy is known to exist. 

Don Bernardo Clavigo, his contemporary, was a cele- 
brated organist, a Master of Arts, and Professor of 
Music at the University of Salamanca, which . 

post he left to become Master of the Chapel 
Royal. Like Castillo, he was a composer of reputation, 
but all his works perished in a fire at the royal palace 
in 1734. 

Don Francisco Correa y Arraujo, a Dominican, was 
organist of the Church of San Salvador at Seville, 
and a Master of Arts and professor in the 
University of Salamanca. He afterwards A**'* ? 
became Bishop of Segovia, and died in 1633. 
He was the author of Tientos y Discursos Musicos, y 
Fiicultad Organica (Preludes and Musical Discourses, 


Story of Organ Music 

and the Art of the Organ). It contains seventy pieces of 
considerable power, and at the end of the book is a 
discourse on the excellence of Diego de Castillo and 
Banchieri, 1 and other contemporary musicians. 

Andres Lorente, a Doctor of Arts and Philosophy in 
the University of Alcala, was born in 1631; and after 
having served as a Commissioner of the 
Inquisition at Toledo, became prebendary 
and organist of the church of another town, called 
Alcala de Henares. 2 He was a diligent student of 
Italian compositions, and the author of a work called 
EL Porque della mustca, en que se contiene los cualro 
artes de ella, Canto Llano, Canto de Organo, Contra- 
puntO) y Composition. 1672. (The Wherefore of Music, 
in which is contained her four arts: Plainsong, 
Measured-song, Counterpoint, and Composition.) He 
died in 1703. 

Fray Pablo Nassarre was born in 1664, and at the 
age of twenty-two entered a Franciscan monastery at 
Saragossa, in which he passed the rest of 
his life. Like Lorente, he was a student of 
Italian music, especially of the theories of Zarlino, and 
he gave the result of his studies to the world in a 
treatise on the "four arts" of music, at Saragossa in 
1693. A second work, of over 1000 pages, was 
published by him in 1724, entitled Escuela Musica segun 
la practica moderna (School of Music, according to 
modern practice). It contained all that an organist 

1 See p. 46. 

a There are at least seven towns in Spain called Alcala. 

1 66 


required to know, in addition to important matter con- 
cerning- the structure of organs. 

Spain had up to this time maintained a place in the 
organ world as worthy and dignified as Italy, and she 
had in fact done more, for it was in Spain 
that the revolt began against the old system Equal 

of tuning, learned from Boethius, and main- m 
tained throughout the Middle Ages as some- ,. 

thing sacred which it would be a kind of at j VO cated 
sacrilege to interfere with. This system, j n s pa i n 
perfectly suitable to unison plainsong, and 
unaccompanied measured music, was no longer 
adequate for the growing needs of instrumental music ; 
and it is to the credit of Spain that the first to raise the 
standard of "Temperament" was a Spaniard. This 
was Don Ramis de Pareja, a musician born at Baeza in 
Andalusia about 1440. Of course his theories, like 
every important improvement, met with violent op- 
position, and the controversy lasted several centuries 
before it ended with the general adoption of equal 

In the eighteenth century there began a freer and 
lighter style of composition in Spain. Don Josef Elias, 
a prolific composer, organist of a monastery 
at Madrid, was the first to introduce it into Change f 
the church, and to make a single melody J^ e 
stand out above the other parts, as opposed iyr - 

to the contrapuntal method, in which they 
were all of equal importance. It had been attempted 
in the middle of the seventeenth century, by Don 


Story of Organ Music 

Luzero Claviano, who ventured to assert that melody 
of this kind should take its place in the church as well 
as elsewhere, and many organists were of the same 
opinion. But the influence of the Church in repressing 
any kind of individuality of thought is probably 
nowhere so strong as in Spain, and the attempt to 
make music more attractive to the populace was met 
with a storm of invective, hostile pamphlets, decrees of 
council, and all the paraphernalia of dogged opposition. 
In the eighteenth century the opposition began to 
wear itself out, and contrapuntal music was gradually 
dropped, while the rage for "melody," which naturally 
was easier to compose as well as to play, gradually 
reduced Spanish church music to the "popular" con- 
dition in which it now is. Of course it never occurred 
to the disputants that there might be room for both 
styles, and that each party might agree to let the 
other alone. The idea of holding one's own views and 
allowing others to differ without quarrelling with them 
is so entirely a product of the twentieth century, that it 
has not yet had time to take root and become general. 
Ritter mentions a number of eighteenth century- 
organists, some of whom adhered to the old 
so-called " sublime " st y le - Amongst them 
Old S fa 1 were a f am 'ly called Nebra, four of whose 
members were organists of the Cathedrals 
of Seville, Madrid, Saragossa, and Cuenca. 

Antonio Soler, Organist and Chapel-master of the 
Escurial, published a treatise, On the Old Music, in 
1762. Joseph Lindon, Director of the Chapel Royal, 


Portuguese Music 

a famous organist and composer, published a treatise 
on El Paso, the Spanish word for fugue, which later 
became changed into Sin embargo i.e. "nevertheless," 
a composition which, in spite of being free and simple, 
was " nevertheless " a fugue. 

Don Miguel Hilarion Eslava, Master of the Chapel 
Royal, to whom we are indebted for most of our 
knowledge of Spanish organ matters, was 
born in 1807. He compiled a valuable 
collection of Spanish church music in ten volumes, 
containing compositions from the sixteenth to the 
nineteenth centuries, entitled Lira Sacro Hispana^ 1869. 
He died in 1878. 

Portuguese organ music ran on similar lines to that 
of Spain. Netherlanders went to Lisbon, as to Madrid, 
and had their influence on the Portuguese, 
of whom, however, only one collection of 
organ music of the seventeenth century has survived. 
This is : Flores de Musica, pcra o Instromento de Tecla et 
Harpa, composla por o Padre Manoel Rodriguez Coelho. 
1620. Coelho was chaplain to the king, and organist 
to the Chapel Royal at Lisbon. His book contains 
eight Tentos (i.e. Tientos) on the eight modes, a motet 
by O. Lasso, glosado, arrangements of certain hymns and 
kyries, and free organ accompaniments to plainsong. 

From Spain and Portugal we come to the Netherlands, 
which in the sixteenth century were under 
Spanish rule, but they formed their own 
schools of music, independently of their 
foreign politics. It was in the Netherlands that the pedal 


Story of Organ Music 

was first used, if by this is to be understood a passage 
quoted by Schlecht 1 from a Flemish chronicle of the 
fourteenth century, which seems to imply that Ludwig 
de Vaalbecke in Brabant, who died in 1312, was the first 
to use the pedal. But the history of Netherland organ 
music does not begin so early. Like the Germans, the 
Dutch were fond of large organs before the Reformation, 
and they were increased in size afterwards, when it 
became necessary to control the song of the congrega- 
tion. The Netherlands did not all accept the 
Reformation, for Belgium remained Catholic, while 
Holland became Lutheran and Calvinistic, as soon as 
she had freed herself, in 1581, from Spanish sway. 
Hence the organ-playing took two directions, according 
to the requirements of the two communions. Both 
countries, however, were alike in their curious passion 
for bells, which, with them, by a strange survival of 
mediaevalism, are closely connected with organ-playing. 
The first and last thing one hears on entering 

Holland is a tune from a church-tower, high 

up over one's head. The effect is curious at 

first, but as the same tune is repeated by clockwork 
every quarter of an hour, day and night, it soon begins 
to pall on the stranger, though the natives never seem 
tired of it. 2 

1 Geschichte det Kirchtnmusik, 1871, p. 103. 

a But even this does not satisfy the craving of the Dutch for machine- 
made music. The author many years ago landed from a yacht at 
Flushing at four o'clock in the morning, to obtain permission from the 
harbour-master to enter with the morning tide, and while getting the 


Belgian Organ -playing 

The carillons were not always played by clockwork, 
but often had a keyboard, like the old fist keyboards 
of fourteenth-century organs, and on this 
the organist was expected to play at stated 
times. In 1402, Claes Boerken was appointed organist 
of the Church of St. Peter at Leyden, with the duty of 
keeping the four bells in order, as well as the organ, 
and to play the organ at weddings and Mass. 

The records of Belgian organ-playing begin with 
English organists, for after the Reformation there was 
a great deal of intercourse between England and the 

John Bull, at one time organist to James I., became 
organist of the Cathedral of Antwerp in 1617, where he 

died in 1628. About a hundred and fifty 

ru- c A j Dr. Bull 

of his organ compositions are found scattered 

through various English and Continental collections, 
both printed and manuscript. We shall return to him 
in a later chapter. 

Peter Phillips, a priest, was born in England during 
Elizabeth's reign, and became canon and organist of 
Bethune, in French Flanders. From there 

he went to Rome, and made a great reputa- _., . 

TJ * u Phillips 

tion. Returning about 1595, he became one 

of the three organists of the chapel of Archduke Albert. 
In 1610 he was appointed prebendary or canon of 
Soignies, where he died in 1625. He was more a corn- 
necessary papers signed, was shown with great pride an enormous clock 
which occupied about a third of the harbour- master's parlour, and which 
played tunes every hour. 


Story of Organ Music 




Peter Phillips 

poser for voices than for the organ, but the Fitzwilliam 
and other collections contain many pieces by him, notably 
an organ fugue, said by Burney to be the first regular 
fugue on one subject he had found. Ritter suggests that 
Frescobaldi may have been attracted to the Netherlands 
by the fame of Phillips. In the University Library at 
Liege there is a MS. collection of organ music, dated 
1617, called Fantasias^ but the two compositions it con- 
tains of Phillips are really toccatas, in the style of the 
Gabrielis, containing the same kind of scale passages, 
accompanied by chords, which, however, are occasion- 
ally broken up. These compositions sound dry and 
antiquated compared with the music of Frescobaldi. 
Another Belgian MS. of 1625, in the Royal Library of 
Berlin, contains a Passamezzo and Pavana dolorosa of 
Phillips. This book is chiefly a collection of dances, 
together with some toccatas, fugues, ricercari, etc., by 
Italian, English, Dutch, and German organists. 

The Fitzioilliam Virginal Book (edited byj. A. Fuller- 
Maitland and W. Barclay Squire) contains a composition 
entitled, " Tirsi, di Luca Marenzio, Prima Parte, 
Intavolata di Pietro Philippi." It is an arrangement of 
a madrigal in the English tablature, of which we shall 
speak later on, with the usual ornamentation of the 
various voice parts. There are two other "parti "to 
this madrigal, entitled respectively "Freno" and " Cosl 
morir6." The next piece is a composition by Phillips 
called " Fece da voi," a six-voice madrigal, put into 
tablature. Then come several dances, one of which, a 
passamezzo, is dated 1592 ; madrigals by Alessandro 


Story of Organ Music 

Striggio, Orlando Lasso, and Giulio Romano, put into 
tablature by Phillips, the last being- dated 1603, and a 
fantasia. This is probably the fugue alluded to by 
Burney. There are no less than thirty entries of the 
subject, all in the tonic or dominant, with one exception 
only, near the end, where there is an entry in the 
subdominant. There are examples of augmentation, 
diminution, and double-diminution of the subject, and 
several strettos, while modulations occur in the episodes. 
The piece is very important as a step in the development 
of the modern fugue out of the ricercare, the fantasia, 
and the canzona. It is followed by a pavana, dated 
1580, "the first one Phillips made"; and there is another 
fantasia, earlier than the one we have described, which 
has a regular fugal exposition, but in other respects is 
the old fantasia rather than a fugue. 

William Brown, or Brouno Inglese, seems to have 
been another of the Englishmen who went to the Low 
Countries. Nothing- is known of him, and Ritter says 
that he must have been an organist of the second rank 

Four other English names appear in the Belgian 
volumes: John Bull, James, J. Kennedy, and Luython. 
Of the last we have spoken in Chapter VII. ; of Bull we 
shall speak further when we come to deal with the 
English composers. Of James and Kennedy nothing 
is known: their contributions are only unimportant 

The greatest native Belgian organist of this time 
was Pierre Cornet, of whose life no particulars are 


The Belgian School 

forthcoming, except that he was organist to the 
Infanta Clara Eugenia, at Brussels, that he may have 
been the son of a chapel-master of the 
cathedral at Antwerp, and that he caused the _ e 
Belgian MS. of 1625 to be made, to which he 
contributed a number of pieces of excellent quality. 
A fantasia in the eighth tone is a very fine piece of 
work, in which a short motive of one bar in length 
recurs again and again, always with fresh treatment, 
as in the fantasias of Bach a century later; but the 
influence of the modes is still strong, and the music 
has not the richness and variety of Bach, while the 
figures are to some extent conventional. In an ar- 
rangement of the plainsong of "O clemens!" the melody 
is heard in the treble above a constant recurrence of 
a short motive in the parts, and on all possible degrees 
of the scale. It has a very good effect. 

From this time the Belgian school came under the 
French influence, rather than English and Italian, and 
the greatest organist of the eighteenth 

century was Matthias van den Gheyn, whose . cn 
.. J , . . * ... , Gheyn 

biography and compositions were published 

in 1862 by Xavier van Elewyk at Louvain. Coming 
of a celebrated family of bell-founders, he was equally 
famous as a Carilloneur and organist. He was born 
at Malines in 1721. At the age of twenty-four, having 
already attained to considerable celebrity, he competed 
for the office of Carilloneur at Louvain, where he was 
already organist of the Church of St. Peter. The 
competitors were required to be able to put new tunes 


Story of Organ Music 

on the barrel, or to pay for its being- done, and the 
successful candidate was to pay the jury for their 
attendance. Van Gheyn was successful, and then 
further conditions were made. He was not to allow 
any one to deputise for him, under penalty of a fine; 
he was to tune, or recast at his own expense, any bells 
that were out of tune ; and he had to pay, during the 
first year of office, for a new baldachino for the pro- 
cession of the Sacrament. His duties were to play 
on market and fete days, and at private festivals, but 
for the last he was paid extra. He had seventeen 
children, and on his death, in 1745, he was succeeded 
in his organistship by one of his sons. Amongst his 
fugues, published by Elewyk, is one in G minor, for 
three voices, on a chromatic subject, of a very bright 
and pleasant character, but more of the nature of harp- 
sichord than organ music. 

The greatest of the Dutch organists was Sweelinck, 
organist of the New Church at Amsterdam. He was 

born at Deventer in 1 560. Of his reputa- 
Sweehncfc . . , *,, 

tion as a teacher, or " Orgamstmaker, we 

have already spoken. The kindly feeling which the 
inhabitants of Amsterdam had for him is shown by 
an arrangement made to provide him with a pension 
in his old age without having recourse to charity, or to 
the funds of the church. Some of the merchants 
borrowed two hundred florins from him with which 
to speculate, the conditions being that they were to 
bear possible losses, and he was to receive the profits. 
These, after a few years, amounted to the sum of 



40,000 florins, so that he was placed in comfortable 
circumstances for the rest of his life. He died in 1622, 
and was succeeded by his son Peterson. His Fantasias, 
Toccatas, Variations, and an Echo remained in MS. 
until the nineteenth century, when they were published 
by Robert Eitner, for the Maatschappij tot bevordering 
der Toonkunsf. His fantasia on a chromatic subject is 
a fugue, with a regular countersubject, of which the 
only defect is a certain amount of inappropriate orna- 
mentation which gives a dryness to what is otherwise 
an interesting work. After the principal subject has 
been worked for some time, an interlude on a new 
motive, worked in stretto, introduces the principal 
subject in augmentation, with the new motive as its 
counterpoint. Finally the subject is introduced and 
worked in diminution, with rapid passages above and 
below it, which afford a good opportunity for the exhibi- 
tion of nimbleness of finger, and are apposite in some 
parts, while in others they are rather meaningless. 
A piece by him in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, en- 
titled " Prasludium Toccata," is straightforward, with- 
out any of the rhythmical complications indulged in by 
most of his contemporaries, and it is more like a 
fantasia than a toccata. It has one little fugue, with 
strettos, but after this, new subjects are constantly 
entering. A fantasia by him in the same book is a 
very fine piece, really a ricercare. Each new subject has 
its answer inverted, and there are examples of augmenta- 
tion, stretto, canon, and syncopation of wonderful 
ingenuity. The composition is of great length. 


Story of Organ Music 

Anthony van Noordt, 1 organist of the New Church 
at Amsterdam, published in 1659 a Tabulertur Boeck 

van Psalmen en Fantaseyen waarvan de 
-T . Psalmen door verscheyden versen verandert syn, 

soo in de Superius, Tenor, als Bassus, met 2, 3 
en 4 part, door Anthony van Noort. Mit pri-vilegie vor 
i$Jaar. (Tablature Book of Psalms in Fantasia form, 
wherein the Psalms are varied in their different verses, 
the tune being 1 in the treble, tenor, and bass, in two, 
three, and four parts, by A. v. Noort. With privileges 
for 15 years.) The tablature consists of two staves 
of six lines each, with two clefs on each stave. The 
sharp is represented by a St. Andrew's cross, and one 
can imagine considerable confusion arising when 
Sweelinck, only a few years later, used the same 
sign to restore a note that had previously been made 
sharp. The work contains some excellent music; a 
Fantasia in the first tone is really a vigorous fugue in D 
minor, but with a leaning to the modes. 

1 Fetis, following Gerber, calls him Sybrant van Noort ; Walther 
gives him no Christian name. All the information given by these 
three lexicographers amounts only to the fact that he was organist of 
the New Church, and that he published a book of sonatas for violins. 

I 7 8 



The organ in the English Church University degrees English tabla- 
ture Henry Abington Cathedral music Day's Certaine Notes 
Congregational singing Tallis Tye Byrd Blitheman Bull 
The Gibbons family Abolition of the Liturgy. 

A COMPOSER reserves the more interesting developments 
of his theme for the latter portion of his composition, in 
order that the attraction may increase as the work pro- 
ceeds, and, acting on the same principle, we have 
delayed the discussion of English organ music until 
now, as we have considered that this branch of our 
theme will probably be the one of most interest to 
English readers. 

There has never been a dearth of excellent organ- 
players in England. In the Middle Ages our English 
musicians, as every one knows, took a 
leading place in the world's music, laying _ 
the foundations for many future develop- 
ments. But the organ, though as much cultivated in 
private as on the Continent, never seems to have taken 
so important a place in the church service as it does 
in the Roman and Lutheran ritual. All our most 
famous church music has been vocal, in which the 

179 N 

Story of Organ Music 

organ has occupied a subordinate place as an accom- 
paniment; and though formerly certain voluntaries were 

played during the service, the Canzonas and 

Place of Toccatas of the Roman Church, and the 

Jrgan Choralvorspiele of the German, have prac- 

p .. , tically found no equivalents in the English 

Church Church. As a rule, the only places in 

which the organ is heard by itself are 
at the beginning and end of the service, where it is 
merely a cover for the noise of the feet of the congrega- 
tion while entering and leaving the church. Hence 
we find that until comparatively recently, few special 
collections of English organ music were made, like the 
numerous tablature books of Italy, Germany, France, 
Holland, and Spain; and the compositions for the organ 
by the great Elizabethan organists being intended for 
the house organ rather than the church, are scattered 
through the various virginal books, and are, in fact, 
intended quite as much for the virginal as the organ. 

Other causes were also at work. Since the organ 
was used almost entirely to accompany the voices, it 

had no pedals, though why English players, 

who have never been deficient in skill, 
should have been content to do without this valuable 
accessory is incomprehensible, unless they thought it 
was too ponderous for accompanying the singing of a 
highly trained choir. The choir has also dominated the 
organ in another department : that of tuning. English 
musicians held the theory that it was better to have a 
few keys absolutely in tune, than to be able to modulate 


The Organ in England 

freely; hence they clung 1 to the bondage of unequal 
temperament for more than a century after it had been 
given up on the Continent, and were thus confined 
within a narrow range of tonality, which precluded any 
important advance in the art of composition. This, 
however, did not matter very much, since, as we have 
said, the chief use to which the church organ was put 
was to accompany the singing, and the feet of the 
retiring congregation. 

But we have always liked to have organs in our 
churches. Bishop Grosteste, of Lincoln, who died in 
1253, urges men to 

"Worship God in Trumpes and Sautre, 
In cordes, yn organes, and bells ringyng, 
Yn all these worship the hevene king." 

The romance of " The Squire of Low Degree," written 
early in the fourteenth century, says : 

" Then shall ye go to your evensong 
With Tenours and Trebles among 
Your quere : nor organ Songe shal want, 
With Countre note and Discaunt: 
The other halfe on organs playing, 
With young children ful fayn singing." 

"Countre note" means counterpoint. There were 
trebles and tenors in the choir, who sang unaccom- 
panied; the organ played its "song" in the interludes, in 
counterpoint and descant, and must therefore have 
been a positive, and the "young children" would sing 
with the large church organ. We know from pieces of 


Story of Organ Music 

sculpture, at Exeter and elsewhere, that portatives and 
positives were used in the English churches, and Chaucer 
makes several allusions to the " mery orgon " at Mass. 
As yet we hear of no names of English organists. Of 
the great English composer Dunstable, who lived in the 

first half of the fifteenth century, and was 

therefore contemporary with Sguarcialupo, 
there is no record, nor is there of any other English 
composer, that he excelled on the organ ; and it is not im- 
possible that, imbued as they were with the teachings of 
Boethius, composers would consider skill on an instru- 
ment to be beneath their dignity. In the last chapter of 
his first book on music, this author is careful to explain 
that the position of a performer or singer is as inferior 
to that of a theorist, who knows the science of acoustics, 
as a servant is to his master, a soldier to his captain, or 
a mason's labourer to the architect. Whatever be the 
cause, we hear of no English musicians distinguishing 
themselves as executants on the organ until the time of 
the Reformation, when the revival of learning taught a 
more liberal view of things. 

Our universities began to give musical degrees in the 
fifteenth century to persons distinguished for their 

knowledge of Boethius; then, when wider 
_ nl views began to prevail, the privilege was 

extended to composers of church music. 
Not until late in the nineteenth century was purely 
instrumental music recognised in the "requirements," 
and to great executants, as such, the degrees have not 
yet been given. We find the praises of no English 


English Organ Tablature 

Landino, or Sguarcialupo, or Paumann sung 1 by the 
poets of the day ; and of so little importance was the 
organist that he is not even mentioned in the old 
cathedral statutes. 

As regards notation, English musicians had by the 
beginning of the seventeenth century evolved a tabla- 
ture for keyed instruments, on the same 
principle as that of the Italians, but far more ~. < , 
practical. While the Germans were using 
a clumsy notation of alphabetical letters, the Spaniards 
a worse one, of numerals, and the Italians a stave of 
varying numbers of lines, the English had settled on a 
tablature of a fixed number of six lines for each hand, 
which was nothing more or less than the modern piano- 
forte brace of staves, with the addition of a sixth line 
below the treble, and above the bass staves, the two 
extra lines both indicating middle C: so that in reading 
it, all that we have to do is to remember that middle C 
is shown in both hands by a continuous line, instead of 
the modern leger line, except in the comparatively rare 
cases of a change of clef. 

The earliest Englishman who is mentioned as a 
famous organist is Henry Abington, or Habyngton, 
Mus. Bac., a priest, who died in 1497. He __ 

was succentor of Wells, Master of the Song ... 
at the Chapel Royal, and Master at St. 
Catherine's Hospital, at Bristol; and his fame as an 
organist rests, not on his compositions, or on allusions 
by contemporary writers, but on his epitaph at Stony- 


Story of Organ Music 

" Millibus in mille cantor fuit optimus ille 
Praeter et haec ista fuit orgaquenista." 

("He was the best singer amongst thousands, and 
besides this, he was the best organist.") 

But though the cathedrals did not find it necessary to 
maintain an organist, since each singer took his turn at 
the instrument, in the palaces of the king and of the 
more wealthy noblemen an organist and organ-maker 
were regular members of the musical establishment. 
The instruments used were, of course, portatives, posi- 
tives, and, later on, regals: for the church organ in 
England only approached playable conditions by 
degrees, as on the Continent. 

The furious invectives of the Puritans show that 
English cathedral music was maintained at a high 

standard of efficiency during and after the 

Cathedral _ . . XT J * , 

Music Reformation. No doubt abuses had crept 

in, as elsewhere, and the Reformation gave 
a good opportunity of removing them, of which full 
advantage was taken. But just as the Council of Trent 
desired to remove abuses by sweeping away music 
altogether, so the ungovernable jealousy of the Puritans 
in England would have abolished everything that was 
refined and dignified in the reformed church. They 
were kept in check for a time, and John Day published 

in 1560 Certaine Notes in Foure and Three 

a ^ S parts, to be sung at the Morning, Com- 

Ccrtaine . . . 

r . ., mumon, and Evening Praier, very necessane 

for the Church of Christe, to be frequented 
and used: and unto them be added divers Godly Praters 


The Puritans 

and Psalnies, in the like forme, to the honour and praise 
of God. The compositions were by Tallis, Cawston, 
Johnson, Oakland, Shepherd, and Taverner ; and 
this collection was to the English Church what the 
Missa Papce Marcelli was to the Roman : it became 
a model for future church music for the next hundred 

No fault was found with the compositions or the 
manner of singing them, which was at a high degree 
of excellence ; but the Chorales of Germany 
and Holland had created a rage for purely 
congregational singing, and nothing would \. 
please the Puritans but the total abolition 
of organs and choirs. The compromise, by which the 
Lutheran service maintained its Motets for the trained 
choir, and its Vorspiele for the magnificent instrument 
which the organ was rapidly becoming, while a place 
was found for the congregation to sing, in the Chorale, 
was by no means acceptable to their narrow views. 
They required " That the Psalms may be sung distinctly, 
by the whole congregation, and that organs may be 
laid aside." In 1571 they said : "Concerning singing 
of Psalms, we allow of the people's joining with one 
voice in a plain tune, but not of tossing the Psalms 
from one side to the other, with intermingling of 
organs." Again, in 1586, Parliament was requested 
"That all cathedral churches may be put down 
where the service of God is grievously abused by 
piping with organs, singing, trowling of Psalms 
from one side of the choir to another ; with the 

Story of Organ Music 

squeaking 1 of chanting choristers, disguised in white 
surplices." The Puritans did not get their way 
entirely, but a reasonable compromise was arrived 
at, by which a "plain tune" was sung by the con- 
gregation, after morning and evening prayer, and 
before and after sermons. 

For a time, therefore, church music continued to 
flourish, and a school of great composers arose, many 
of whom became famous organists. We have already 
mentioned some of those who, adhering to the faith of 
their fathers, were obliged to escape to the Continent, 
where they spread the reputation of English music. 
The great organists of Elizabeth's reign who remained, 
protected by the Court from being worried about their 
private religious views, were Tallis, Tye, Blitheman, 
Byrd, and Bull. 

Thomas Tallis, Tallys, or Talys, was born early in 
the sixteenth century. His first appointment was as 
_ organist of Waltham Abbey, from which he 

was dismissed at the Dissolution. He then 
became a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, which post 
he retained through the reigns of Henry, Edward, 
Mary, and Elizabeth, till his death in 1585. Of his 
numerous compositions for the Church, both to Latin 
and English words, and of his famous motet in forty 
parts, this is not the place to speak ; a list of them is 
given in Grove's Dictionary. In addition to the position 
of Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, he was also one of 
its organists, but few of his compositions for this 
instrument have survived. There is a MS. Fancy 


Elizabethan Organists 

(Fantasia) in A minor in the Library of Christ Church, 
Oxford, and there are two pieces in the Fitzwilliam 
Virginal Book, besides one in Benjamin Cosyn's Virginal 
Book at Buckingham Palace. Tallis's two compositions 
in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book both consist of varia- 
tions on the plainsong of Felix namque. Each has an 
introduction, and the one in Book I., p. 427, is interesting 
because the composer has treated it as a canzona 
francese. In Add. MSS., 31,403, there is a piece 
called " Mr. Tallis, his Offertory," in which the feeling 
for tonic and dominant as important notes of the scale 
is foreshadowed by a motive which runs through the 
first portion of the piece. (See App. A, No. 8.) The 
same tendency to proceed from tonic to dominant is 
observable in the opening subjects of many pieces by 
Byrd, Sweelinck, and others. Tallis's Offertory is of 
enormous length, and is in the form of a fantasia, in 
which the orthodox triple rhythm section is represented 
by triple measure in the right hand against duple in the 

Christopher Tye, Mus. Doc. of Cambridge and 
Oxford, was a contemporary of Tallis, and, like him, 
Gentleman and Organist of the Chapel Royal through 
all the changes of religion of those troubled times. 
He was music-master to Edward VI., and perhaps 
to other children of Henry VIII., and a great composer 
of music both for the reformed Church of England and 
the Latin service. He was a favourite with Elizabeth : 
monarchs were wise enough not to be concerned with 
the religious opinions of their musicians, so long as 


Story of Organ Music 

they kept them to themselves, 1 and the musicians, on 
their side, were content to occupy themselves solely 
with their music, and not to embroil themselves in the 
fanatical disputes of the times. A man need not cease 
to be a good Catholic or a good Protestant merely 
because he finds scope for the exercise of his musical 
genius in a Church other than that to which he belongs 
by training or conviction. 

Tye died about 1580. He was, says Anthony Wood, 

"a peevish and humoursome man, especially in his 

later days, and sometimes playing on the 

nee o e organ in the chapel of Queen Elizabeth, 

which contained much music, but little 

delight to the ear, she would send the verger to tell 

him that he played out of tune ; whereupon he sent 

word that her ears were out of tune." This is the only 

notice we have of his organ-playing, and it is not very 

complimentary : yet his vocal works show him to have 

been so great a composer that his organ music could 

not have all been poor. 

William Byrd was born in 1542 or 1543, and was 

"bred up to musick under Thomas Tallis. " 


He was at first organist of Lincoln 

Cathedral, and in 1569 was sworn in as a Gentleman 

1 Marbecke, organist of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, could not 
refrain from intermeddling in what Bishop Gardiner said "was no 
affair of his," and, in consequence of his writings against Popery in 
Mary's reign, was condemned to death, and was actually being led out 
to the stake when Bishop Gardiner, seeing him from his window, and 
not wishing to lose so good a musician, saved his life. 

1 88 


ot the Chapel Royal, where he shared with Tallis the 
duties of organist. Elizabeth granted to Tallis and Byrd 
a patent, giving them the sole right to print and sell 
music and music paper for twenty-one years ; and 
they appear to have taken advantage of this unrighteous 
monopoly to print music very carelessly and badly. 
Byrd held his post through Elizabeth's reign, though 
he was an adherent of the Roman Church. He died in 
1623, after having attained to a world-wide reputa- 
tion as a composer in all the then known styles. 
The Fitzwilliam book contains no less than sixty-four 
of his compositions, Will Forster's thirty-two, and the 
forty-two pieces in Lady Nevill's book are entirely by 

Byrd was ten years younger than Merulo, and four- 
teen years older than Giovanni Gabrieli, whom he 
outlived by eleven years. Frescobaldi was his junior, 
but his reputation must have been known to Byrd. 
His German contemporaries were in the full swing 
of the rage for coloratura, the representatives of 
this school being Paix, seven years junior to Byrd; 
Ammerbach, about eighteen years his junior; the 
younger Schmid ; and Woltz, who published his 
Tablature in 1617. Exclusive of the dance forms, 
which were common to all nations, the standard com- 
positions were in Italy the Ricercare, the Toccata, the 
Canzona, the Capriccio, besides, of course, the various 
little Versetti, etc., of the ritual. The standard German 
pieces were first and foremost the various arrangements 
of the Chorale, then the Fantasia, the Canzona, and 


Story of Organ Music 

the Ricercare. The larger English compositions were 
called Fantasias, or Fancies, and Praeludiums. The 
Fantasia was the English name for the Ricercare, but 
the words Fantasia, Prelude, Ricercare, Canzona were 
loosely applied, and denoted little distinction of form in 
the various compositions. The greater number of the 
pieces by Byrd and his contemporaries were, however, 
dance tunes, not necessarily intended to dance to, but 
to be listened to by an audience, like the sonata of 
to-day. They were called Pavana, Galliard, Alman 
(i.e. Allemande), Passamezzo, Hunts Up, Gigge, Cor- 
anto, Braule, Toye, Touch, etc. Then there were 
" Groundes," consisting of variations on a Ground, or 
perpetually recurring bass, as in the Passacaglia, In 
Nomines (originally a kind of motet), and Variations. 
Two Fantasias by Byrd in the Fitzwilliam Virginal 
Book are in the Italian style, consisting of several little 
fugues, each ending with the conventional turn, and 
there is a middle section in triple time. A "Touch" by 
him in Add. MSS., 31,403, begins with a rapid scale 
passage, and then proceeds in sedate madrigal style. 
The organs were quite little things. The " fair large 
high organ," given to York Minster about 
1632 by Charles I., had only fourteen stops, 
the same number as that on which Frescobaldi 
played before 30,000 people at St. Peter's. 

William Blitheman, Mus. Bac., one of the organists 

of Queen Elizabeth's Chapel, was among 

the few English musicians of those days 

who seem to have made a speciality of the organ ; or, 



as Hawkins says, "he was a singular instance of a 
limited talent in the science of his profession." The 
days of specialists were yet to come. Blitheman is 
chiefly known as the master of John Bull, and Hawkins 
gives his quaint epitaph in the Church of St. Nicholas, 
Cole Abbey, which was destroyed in the Fire of 
London : 

" Here Blitheman lies, a worthy wight, 

Who feared God above: 
A friend to all, a foe to none, 

Whom rich and poor did love. 
Of prince's chapell gentleman 

Unto his dying day: 
Whom all tooke great delight to hear 

Him on the organs play. 
Whose passing skill in musicke's art, 

A scholar left behind, 
John Bull by name, his master's veine 

Expressing in each kinde. 
But nothing here continues long 

Nor resting place can have: 
His soule departed hence to heaven, 

His body here in grave." 

He died in 1591. Hawkins gives one of his com- 
positions: it has no name, and would be perhaps a 
Fancy, or an In Nomine. It is in G minor, with F 
sharp and E flat, and with modulations to C minor and 
B flat. It is a skilful piece of contrapuntal work, but 
in spite of the modern tonality it is cold and artificial in 
feeling, though it is, at any rate, free from the un- 


Story of Organ Music 

meaning ornament so common in Italy and Germany. 
About twenty of his compositions are to be found in 
the Fitzwilliam book and other collections. Add. 
MSS., 31,403, British Museum, has an In Nomine 
by him, a sort of canto-fermo in the right hand, 
accompanied by the left hand in quavers and crotchets. 
There is also an unnamed piece in three parts, in the 
style of a madrigal. 

The most famous virtuoso in the latter part of the 
reign of Elizabeth, and the beginning of that of James 

T\ T> 11 !> was undoubtedly John Bull, Mus. Doc. 
Dr. Bull , T , ., . , 

We do not use the term virtuoso in a 

sense of reproach, as implied in Grove's Dictionary, but 
in its right meaning, as used in Italy and Germany, of a 
person of extraordinary technical skill in his art. This 
John Bull certainly was. He was born about 1562, and 
his first appointment was as organist of Hereford 
Cathedral. In 1591 he succeeded his master Blitheman 
as organist of the Chapel Royal, and in the following 
year, according to the custom of the time, he in- 
corporated as Mus. Doc. at Oxford, after having 
previously acquired that degree at Cambridge. In 
1601 he went abroad, and his fame attracted to him 
many offers of employment from foreign courts; but 
Elizabeth, who had a liking for all her musicians, 
hearing of the offers, recalled him in haste. 

In 1606 he was admitted to the freedom of the 
Merchant Taylors' Company, and in the following year, 
when the king (James I.) dined at Merchant Taylors' 
Hall, Bull, " being in a citizen's gowne, cappe, and 



Dr. John Bull 

hood, played most excellent melodic upon a small 
payre of organes placed there for that purpose 
onely." This "payre of organes" 1 was, of course, 
a positive. 

Musicians attached to a court could not leave their 
posts without a "license," which was often refused. 
In 1613 Bull found it necessary to " go 
beyond the seas without license" i.e., to Bul1 Ie * vcs 

run away, for he was about to be brought 

u c 1-4. u without 

up on charges of immorality. He at once License 

obtained the post of organist in the Arch- 
duke's palace at Brussels, and four years later that of 
organist at Antwerp Cathedral. Here he died in 1628. 
There are two portraits of him, one of which is in the 
possession of Dr. Cummings, the other in the Examina- 
tion Schools, Oxford. Some of his pieces have been pub- 
lished in modern editions, and a list of the MSS. in 
which his works are to be found is given in the article 
on him in Grove's Dictionary. 

1 Notice the expression "payre of organes." The organ was for a long 
time usually spoken of in the plural, as it is to this day in Spain, from 
the mediaeval use of the two words organum and organa. Organum 
meant music that was sung in two or more parts, while organa, in the 
plural, meant the conjunction of pipes (Greek 6pyava) which we call 
organ. Spain, which preserves old customs longer than other 
countries, still keeps this distinction, though her writers cannot 
explain it. Canto de Organo (singular) does not mean, as might be 
inferred, anything to do with the instrument, but what other nations 
called measured music i.e. music in parts. The instrument is called 
Los organos (plural). This explanation will perhaps account for the 
expression "pair of organs" which has sometimes puzzled musicians. 


Story of Organ Music 

Bull and Sweelinck seem to have been on friendly 
terms, and Bull was perhaps the finer executant of the 
two. The specimens of difficult passages from his 
variations on the hexachord, quoted by Burney, show 
marvellous originality and fancy. It seems to have 
been a point of honour with composers of all nations to 
write fantasias or variations on the hexachord, a dull 
and senseless theme, which they took care to exhibit in 
all its nakedness as a succession of rhythmless semi- 
breves, in order, probably, to show what they could do 
with such unpromising material. Bull uses this barren 
theme as a peg on which to hang some wonderfully 
musical and beautiful effects, in contrast to the dull and 
carefully studied work of some of his contemporaries. 
In his dance tunes there is a pleasant lightness and 
humour, and his preludes, like those of his contempor- 
aries, are usually short pieces, somewhat in the style 
of Gabrieli's toccatas, with the conventional turn at 
each close, but without the usual chord at the begin- 
ning. His tonality is vague: he will begin in C, then 
suddenly jump into B flat, then go through F back 
to C, and conclude in G. The keys themselves are 
modern, but the changes are made without any of the 
rounding off to which we are accustomed, and the 
general indefiniteness is charming if one can moment- 
arily transport oneself back in imagination three 
hundred years ; and the sudden changes of key show 
that Bull was beginning to weary of the monotony 
which we cannot help feeling when we play several of 
these old works in succession. 

Dr. John Bull 

In the Fantasia on the hexachord, in the Fitzwilliam 
Virginal Book, he modulates suddenly from the key of 
E major to that of G flat major, by means 
of what is virtually an enharmonic change 5 p t 
and in the same piece he has as complicated 
a piece of rhythm as can be found in an age when men 
delighted in the most fantastic rhythmical experiments. 
In a Fantasia on the plainsong of Salvator Mundi (Add. 
MSS., 31,403, Brit. Mus.), there are figures of broken 
harmony which might almost belong to a modern 
sonata, but that the sudden bald changes of key throw 
one back three centuries. Thus, we find ourselves 
gently moving along in the keys of E and A major, in 
alternate tonic and dominant chords broken into trip- 
lets, such as Beethoven loved, when we are suddenly 
shot, as it were, into the key of C major, regardless of 
false relations. There is a collection in the British 
Museum (Add. MSS., 23,623), entitled " Tablature, Mr. 
Dr. John Bull." It was written in Holland, and be- 
longed to Queen Caroline, the consort of George II. It 
contains numbers of fantasias, dances, Latin hymns, 
and other pieces by Bull, and a few by other composers. 
In a Vorspiel or Fantasia on the Dutch Chorale " Laet 
ons met herten Reijne," the stops cornet, cromhoren, 
cornet altee (mounted cornet), voll register (full organ) 
are indicated in red ink, this being perhaps the earliest 
example in the works of English organists. (See 
Appendix A, example 9.) 

Among the successors to the Elizabethans were the 
members of the Gibbons family. The first of these was 

195 o 

Story of Organ Music 

the Rev. Edward Gibbons, born in 1570, probably 

the son of one of the waits of Cambridge. He was 

organist of Bristol Cathedral, and after- 

-,.,, wards of Exeter Cathedral. Some of his 

Gibbons . . 

Family compositions are in the music school at 

Oxford, and others in the Tudway MSS. 
at the British Museum. 

Orlando Gibbons, his younger brother, was destined 
to become the finest composer and organist of his time 
in England, and has been called the "English 
Palestrina." He was born at Cambridge in 
1583. In 1604 he succeeded Arthur Cock 
as organist of the Chapel Royal. In 1622 he was given 
the degrees of Bachelor and Doctor of Music at Oxford, 
and in the following year became organist at West- 
minster Abbey. He died in 1625 at Canterbury, 
whither he had been summoned to attend the wedding 
of Charles I., and was buried in the cathedral of that 
city. The few pieces he left for keyed instruments are 
some dances and a Fantasia, in " Parthenia," the first 
music for the virginal printed in England, which was 
published in 1611 by himself, Byrd, and Bull. 

Add. MSS., 36,661, contains voluntaries, "An Italian 
Ground," "The King's Juell," and many other pieces 
by him. Add. MSS., 31,403, has preludes in the usual 
form, a voluntary in minims with graces on nearly half 
the notes, another voluntary in the form of a canzona, 
and a fantasia on one subject only. This volume, by 
the way, has eight bars of music by Elway Bevin, called 
" Graces in Play. The graces before is here exprest in 


English Organists 

notes," showing the meaning 1 of a few of the innumer- 
able graces which are now obsolete. 

His son, Christopher Gibbons, Mus. Doc., born in 
1615, was organist of Winchester Cathedral until the 

Commonwealth, when he made his living as _ 

. ,. / i . A i T-, x- Christopher 

a soldier of the king. At the Restoration 

he became organist to Charles II., and he 
died in 1676. He appears to have been a skilful im- 
proviser on the organ, and there is by him in Add. 
MSS., 36,661, a "voluntary for ye duble organ." It 
alternates between the "Great organ" and "Little 
organ." It is full of ornaments, but would probably 
sound fairly effective on a small modern instrument. 
At the end there are toccata-like runs, and the lowest 
note used is A below the bass stave. 

Another musical family was that of Tomkins, whose 
members were precentors, organists, and singers at 
various cathedrals. The most eminent was _ 
Thomas Tomkins, Mus. Bac. , a pupil of ^ _. 
Byrd, who was born towards the end of the 
sixteenth century. He was organist of Worcester 
Cathedral, and from 1621 one of the organists of the 
Chapel Royal. The Fitzwilliam book contains five of 
his compositions. 

The cathedrals and the Royal Chapel were the schools 
of music in those days; and the chief musician and 
composer was not a chapelmaster, as on the Continent, 
but an organist. Hence nearly all our great composers 
were great organists, who for the most part extempor- 
ised whatever solo music was required. The whole 


Story of Organ Music 

system came to a temporary end in 1644, when the 
liturgy was abolished, the organs pulled down, and 

the music of the church reduced to metrical 

, , psalmody, each verse being read out, line 

Liturev ^y line, " by the minister, or some fit person 

appointed by him, before the singing there- 
of." 1 Organists now lost their occupation, and the 
instrument was silent throughout the land, as far as 
churches were concerned, for nearly twenty years. 

1 Hawkins, vol. iv. p. 42. This system survived in a remote country 
village in Devonshire, and perhaps elsewhere, until about 1870, the 
clerk reading out the psalm, line by line, in a strong Devonshire accent, 
and accompanying the singing on his violin. 



Re-erection of organs after the Restoration The influence of the opera 
on church music New use of the organ Dr. Greene John 
Robinson Cornet pieces Dr. Blow Double and single organs 
Croft Purcell His Toccata in A His views of English music 
Advent of Handel Burney's views of English instrumental 
music Handel's organ works Mace and the organ in parish 
churches Village church bands. 

ON the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, organs 
were re-erected in the cathedrals, the royal chapels, 

the large parish churches, and the college 

, . . , , . , , ., Re-erection 

chapels in the utmost haste, and as the , ~ 

few English builders who had survived 
the temporary extinction of their trade were in- 
sufficient to cope with the sudden demand, persons 
were invited to come from abroad to supplement 
their labours, the best known of whom were two 
Germans named Smith, and Harris, an Englishman 
who had been carrying on his trade in Paris. 

Several composers now arose, who wrote cathedral 
music of a very high standard; the organ was used 
during the service, not only in the subordinate role of 
accompanying, but for solos, as on the Continent ; and 
it looked for a time as if English music was destined to 


Story of Organ Music 

take as high a place in the world as it had done under 
Elizabeth. A new and more modern style of cathedral 
music came into being 1 , eminently suitable to the English 
service, and, in its own special line, as great as the 
church music of the Continent. But music was now 
overflowing the narrow confines of the church, and its 
greatest exponents were giving their best efforts to the 
theatre and the concert-room ; and in these departments 
Englishmen, owing to certain national characteristics, 
failed to achieve distinction. 

Charles II. has been blamed because he delighted in 
music of a less severe character than that of the old 

Elizabethan composers; but the character 
l!f era / of music was changing all over Europe, and 
-., Charles was naturally influenced by the taste 

of his time. Since the death of Elizabeth, 
opera and dramatic music had been invented, and was 
exercising a great influence on church music: recitative 
and solo song had taken the place of the madrigal 
and the part-song; Monteverde had boldly enlarged 
the boundaries within which harmony had been pre- 
viously confined, and orchestral instruments were 
used in the church as well as the organ. Mankind 
cannot always remain at one particular stage of de- 
velopment ; the music of the end of the sixteenth 
century did not suit the taste of the end of the seven- 
teenth, and if the Church is to be entirely uninfluenced 
by the so-called "secular" style of the day, it must be 
content to lag behind the rest of the world, and only 
appeal to the taste of a small minority of antiquarians. 


The English School 

Charles, not being- content with the severe and, to 
him, antiquated methods of his organists, sent one of 
his young choir-boys, Pelham Humphreys, 

to study under Lully at Paris ; who, it is 

' . * Humphreys 

said, came back with a profound contempt 

for everything English in music, as he well might under 
the circumstances. The fine Elizabethan school of 
church music had been so far strangled by the Puritans 
that it had not sufficient life left to inspire the young 
and enthusiastic composer. If things had been allowed 
to take their natural course, Humphreys and 
his contemporaries would have been grand- ~ s * T 
pupils of Byrd, Bull, and Gibbons, thus con- 
tinuing and developing- an English school, instead of 
having to import foreign methods. He died at the age 
of twenty-seven; and his successor, Purcell, sought his 
models in Italy, France, and Germany, for he had no 
matured English models of his own time to build upon. 
Thus the old English school died out, and the new 
English music became a reflection of foreign styles; for 
Purcell, who in his maturity might have laid the 
foundations of an English school, died before his 
genius had time to sufficiently develop for this, or to 
hand on his art to a number of pupils. 

With regard to the organ, James Clifford's Collection 
of Divine Services and Anthems usually sung in his 
Majesty's Chapel and in all Cathedral and 

Collegiate Churches in England and Ireland * W ~ se 
, ., the Organ 

(1664), a book of words only, with chants for 

the psalms, contains "Brief Directions for the under- 

20 1 

Story of Organ Music 

standing of that part of the Divine Service performed 
with the Organ in St. Paul's Church on Sundays," in 
which it is explained, "After the Psalm, a voluntary 
upon the organ alone"; "After the Blessing, The 
Grace of Our Lord, a voluntary upon the organ alone." 
Hawkins 1 says that this was the usage in cathedrals for 
many years, but in some, particularly in St. Paul's and 
at Canterbury and Westminster Abbey, the practice 
was for more than a century to sing the Sanctus be- 
tween the end of morning prayer and the beginning 
of the Communion service; at the Temple Church, 
however, a voluntary was played in this place. 

Parish churches also had a voluntary between the 
psalms and the first lesson, and it was at first a solemn 
piece in keeping with the service. But in the next 
century Greene and Roseingrave and others introduced 
a new style, which eventually gave this voluntary its 
death-blow, though it lingered until the nineteenth 
century, for in a set of fugues by Eberlin, published 
in 1801, the editor, Diettenhofer, says in his preface: 
"The voluntaries may be played before the Psalms or 
any figurative sacred music (i.e. anthems), or may be 
used as preludes or interludes. When played after 
Divine Service, they may be called postludes." 

Dr. Maurice Greene (1696-1755) was a contemporary, 

r. ^ and for a time a friend, of Handel. After 

Dr. Greene 

occupying the post of organist in several 

London churches, he became organist of St. Paul's-in 

1 Vol. iv. p. 351. 

Dr. Greene 

1718, and in 1730 Professor of Music in the University 
of Cambridge. He was a prolific and able composer, his 
chief work being" Forty Select Anthems, published in 
1743, which have been said to "place him at the head 
of the list of English cathedral composers." He also 
published some organ voluntaries, and he was the first 
to introduce a style of playing which shall be described 
in Hawkins' own words: "Notwithstanding that he 
was an excellent organist, and not only perfectly under- 
stood the nature of the instrument, but was a great 
master of fugue, he affected in his voluntaries that kind 
of practice on single stops the cornet 1 and the vox 
humana, for instance which puts the instrument almost 
on a level with the harpsichord; a voluntary of this 
kind being in fact little more than a solo for a single 
instrument, with the accompaniment of a bass; and in 
this view, Greene may be looked upon as the father of 
modern organists. This kind of performance, as it is 
calculated to catch the ears of the vulgar, who are more 
delighted with melody, or what is called air, than 
harmony, was beneath one whose abilities were such, 
that Mattheson, a man but little disposed to flattery, 
and who was one of the first organists of Europe him- 
self, has not scrupled to rank him amongst the best of 
his time." But though Greene may have been the first 
to popularise the Cornet solo, he was not the first to use 

1 The cornet was a treble half-stop, having several pipes to each 
note; it was sometimes placed on a separate wind-chest above the rest 
of the stops, to give it prominence and brilliance, and called the 
Mounted Cornet. It is now obsolete. 


Story of Organ Music 

it, as there are examples of it in the Croft and Blow 
MSS. at the British Museum. 

John Robinson, organist of Westminster Abbey, a 

pupil of Blow, is said by Hawkins to have been a 

very florid and elegant performer, insomuch 

that crowds resorted to hear him. He was 

also a celebrated master of the harpsichord, 

and had a greater number of pupils than any one in his 
time. He died in 1762, and does not seem to have left 
any organ works. Like Greene, he also used the solo 
style in the voluntary after the psalms, making it into 
an allegro on the trumpet, cornet, or sesquialtra for the 
right hand, with a bass for the left on another keyboard. 
There now seems to have come a fashion for this kind 
of voluntary, and collections of "Cornet pieces" were 
published. Their general style is exhibited in a col- 
lection of Six Cornet Pieces, published by 
ae Y s rj r Burney, the historian, in his early days. 
p? ri They are all in two parts only, treble and 

bass. The first opens with a motive remind- 
ing one of the first two bars of the Messiah, but in a 
minor key, and the two hands are more than two 
octaves apart, with no intervening harmony, thus at 
once exhibiting the poverty of the style. The form is 
something like that of the allegro movements of 
Handel's organ concertos, but there is no change of 
power, no variety, no fulness of harmony to contrast 
with the weakness of the opening. It is merely a 
"show off" piece for the right hand, requiring no 
intellectual effort or even manual skill for its perform- 


Dr. Blow 

ance. The second opens with a reminiscence of the 
air "Rejoice greatly" in the Messiah^ and, like the 
first, it starts with the hands more than two octaves 
apart. The third is like one of Handel's organ concerto 
motives, and the fifth might do for a pompous and 
pedantic march, if the interval between the two hands 
were filled in by some kind of harmony. The whole 
effect is most depressing- from its evident appeal to a 
vulgar and narrow taste; and this is what English 
organ music came to be in the eighteenth century. 
Yet that English organists were capable of better 
things is shown by the fact that this same volume of 
Burney's ends with a good double fugue, in which the 
crying need of pedals is shown by the occasional use of 
octaves and full chords in the bass. Thus was the 
voluntary killed by those who could do better, but 
preferred to gain cheap notoriety at the cost of little 
labour to themselves. 

John Blow, Mus. Doc., one of our best cathedral 
composers, was born in 1648, and was one of the first 
set of children of the Chapel Royal on its re- 
establishment in 1660. He was a pupil of 
Christopher Gibbons and of John Hingeston, org-anist to 
Cromwell for the Protector was a man of culture, and 
liked to hear the organ played. At the age of twenty- 
one Blow was made organist of Westminster Abbey. 
Eleven years later he resigned this place in favour of his 
pupil Purcell, and resumed it on the death of the latter, 
in 1695. He was also organist and composer to the 
king. He died in 1708. During a long and busy life he 


Story of Organ Music 

composed an immense number of services, anthems, 
odes, pieces for viols, catches, lessons for the harpsi- 
chord, and a few organ pieces. He was in advance of 
his time, and wrote harmonic progressions that Burney, 
from the " Doctor of Music" point of view, condemns, 
though they have become common property since. Add. 
MSS., 31,468, Brit. Mus., contains a number of suites by 
Dr. Blow, some of which are a good deal overloaded with 
ornament ; but where this is not the case they show a 
strong-, healthy, and thoroughly English feeling, with a 
complete command of tonic and dominant harmony and 
the contrast between the relative major and minor modes. 
There are also several voluntaries for the double organ : 
the first is a canzona francese, though not called so. It 
is very difficult, and has toccata-like runs for both hands, 
with passages in the thirds for the right hand. Another 
voluntary is for "ye single organ." Most of these 
voluntaries begin like a fugue, and then go into passages. 
There is a canzona in the key of A major, with all three 
sharps in the signature, which was unusual in those 
days, and a "Voluntary for ye Cornet stop." This 
begins with a fugal introduction, and the cornet enters 
at the eleventh bar. Its part is full of turns, and there 
is a two-voice accompaniment for the left hand. The 
cornet alternates with the " single organ," and is not in 
the vulgar style that afterwards became characteristic of 
such compositions. 

The words "double" and "single" organ, which so 
frequently occur in these MSS., undoubtedly refer to the 
use of the double diapasons of sixteen feet, which were 


Dr. Blow 

coming into use, and the ordinary eight-feet diapason. 
On the Continent in ancient times a thirty-two feet organ 
was a " whole organ," a sixteen feet a " half organ." 
In England and Italy the eight-feet pitch has always 
been the most important, owing to the smallness of the 
instruments, and the word "double" has always been 
applied to sixteen-feet stops. Anthony Duddyngton 
built at Barking, in 1513, "a pair of organs of double 
C, Fa, ut," though its chief 
stop was a Principal of eight 

A " Voluntary for Two 
Diapasons and Flute " is im- 
portant. It is a canzona in 
C major, in three voices 
only, with a regular finale 
of a different character from 
the first part; but the last 
two bars of the second sec- 


tion are note for note the 

same as those in the first, to give unity to the whole. 
The importance of these two final bars to the history 
of the sonata is shown in the article on " Form" in 
Grove's Dictionary. That this is not an accidental 
case is shown by the fact that it occurs elsewhere in 
Blow's works. 

Add. MSS., 31,446, Brit. Mus., contains toccatas and 
a voluntary for the " double organ," which, beginning 
with a fugue subject, has no regular fugal work after the 
exposition, though the four voices enter one after the 


Story of Organ Music 

other. It varies between "single" and "double" organ. 
No. 8 in this book is one of the old fantasias that is to 
say, a combination of three short fugues on different 
subjects, but in place of the conventional turn that used 
to separate them there are toccata-like episodes. No. 
10 is a sort of fugue for "upper keys" and "under 
keys." There is a rollicking jollity about parts of it, 
especially towards the end, which reminds one of the 
tune of "Old King Cole." After this come several other 
voluntaries, one of which has alternations of "great," 
"double," " chaire," and "single" organs. It is a sort 
of recitative, with imitations and vigorous interludes, 
and it ends with a "cornet solo," which, however, 
alternates with the trumpet and sesquialtera. The piece 
is very long, and ends in a magnificent climax for the 
"double" organ. Blow must have been a splendid 

William Croft, Mus. Doc., born in 1677, one of the 
children of the Chapel Royal, under Blow, became 
Organist, Master of the Children, and Com- 
poser to the Chapel Royal, and, after Blow's 
death, organist of Westminster Abbey. He died in 
1727. Add. MSS., 5,336, Brit. Mus., contains twelve 
voluntaries by him. No. i, entitled " Slow," has some 
very fine music in it, the bass being especially good. It 
rather reminds one of Purcell's style. No. 2, also 
"Slow," has good thematic work, and a fugato. In 
No. 3, stops are indicated, such as diapasons and trum- 
pet, the latter being used alternately with the cremona, 
which forms a kind of echo to it. The music is mas- 



culine, and not too dry. The next few voluntaries are 
fugues, and in No. 10 the composer descends to a 
cornet solo, the opening of which is like a vulgar jig. 
No. ii is for "soft" and "loud" organ alternately, 
and No. 12 is a double fugue; but it is not much 
worked out, and soon goes off into chords, with a 
moving bass. 

Purcell is the name of a family of musicians, of whom 
the most famous was Henry, born at Westminster 
about 1658. He was admitted as a chorister 
in the Chapel Royal, under Captain Henry p .j 
Cooke, one of those musicians who had fought 
for the king in the Civil War. On the death of 
Cooke, Purcell came under Pelham Humphreys, and 
finally under Blow. Beginning his career as a composer 
for the theatre, he was appointed organist of West- 
minster Abbey in 1680, and of the Chapel Royal in 1682. 
He died in 1695, and, as every one knows, during his 
short life produced an amazing quantity of music of 
every kind, far in advance of his English, and of most of 
his foreign, contemporaries. He left some four-part 
sonatas for the organ or harpsichord, and some suites. 
Amongst his pieces is a Toccata in A, which is not only 
remarkable for its musical excellence, but 
also because it has been claimed as an early -. 
work of J. S. Bach, and was published as 
such in the forty-second year of the Bachgesellschaft 
edition. There are two copies of it in the British 
Museum: one in Add. MSS., 31,446, where it is 
ascribed to Purcell, and the other in Add. MSS., 24,313, 


Story of Organ Music 

where it occurs without the composer's name amongst 
some toccatas by Michelangelo Rossi. The former 
volume consists of toccatas by Blow and Purcell for the 
single and double organ. The Toccata in A is so 
important that it requires to be noticed in detail. The 
first two bars have a reminiscence of the old Italian 
toccata, which began with a sustained tonic chord ; but 
Purcell breaks up the chord in the first bar, and sustains 
it in the second. Then the movement starts off with 
great vivacity in chords broken into semiquavers, in 
the North German style. Coming to a full close in E 
major, it commences new imitative work, and the semi- 
quaver movement is kept up in very Bach-like manner 
till it comes to a full close on the tonic. Then a fugue, 
of which the subject is very brilliant, begins, and goes 
through five regular entries. After the last entry the 
semiquavers continue in a perpetual motion, alternating 
between the keys of A and D to a full close in F sharp 
minor. Here the usual interlude, with change of rhythm, 
occurs, and with a time signature of 18/16, equivalent 
to 6/8, a new flow of semiquaver triplets begins, leading 
to a long dominant pedal-point, and a return to the 
opening two bars of the piece, which are, however, 
quite metamorphosed by a new treatment. The music 
now entirely changes its character, becoming more 
contemplative, in what is practically a slow movement 
in F sharp minor. This, however, soon gives way to a 
reminiscence of the fugue subject in the original key, 
and the piece ends with some demi-semiquaver 
"divisions," as they were then called, in the North 



German style. Purcell confesses that he took the Italian 
compositions for his models, but this piece is more 
German than Italian in feeling. 

A "Voluntary for ye Duble Organ by Mr. Henry 
Purcell," which occurs in MSS. 31,468 and 31,446, is a 
kind of free fugue, having its answer in the subdominant. 
In one of the MSS. nearly all the notes of its subject 
are surmounted by graces ; in the other the graces are 
all omitted, though a few others are inserted ; this seems 
to show that the overloading with embellishments 
was not absolutely necessary to a composition. This 
work has portions for Chair organ, Great organ, 
Little organ, and Single organ: Little organ seems 
to have meant the Chair or Choir organ with only its 
four-feet stops drawn. 

In Purcell's music the modern use of key as a 
fundamental element of unity is fully established, and 
much of his music is like the early works of Bach. 
Purcell was nearly contemporary with Pachelbel in 
Germany, who was born five years before him, and 
outlived him by eleven years; and his nearest Italian 
contemporary was Pasquini, who had an immense 
reputation. The Italian organ school had culminated 
in Frescobaldi, and still held to a high level, while 
the German school was rising rapidly and preparing the 
ground for Bach. One of the traits of youthful genius 
is that it is quick to perceive and assimilate all that 
is best in contemporary productions, and thus to form 
itself on the best available models ; and Purcell's genius 
was no exception to the rule. Hence, while he avowedly 

211 p 

Story of Organ Music 

studied Italian and French models for his concerted 
music, he, perhaps unconsciously, fell into line with 
the Germans in his organ pieces. His own view of 
English music is expressed in the dedication 
Purcell's of 2)ioclesian to the Duke of Somerset: 

,, "Musick is but in its nonage, a forward 


jyj . child, which gives hope of what it may 

be hereafter in England, when the masters 
of it shall find more encouragement. 'Tis now learn- 
ing Italian, which is its best master, and studying 
a little of the French air, to give it somewhat more 
of gayety and fashion. Thus, being further from the 
sun, we are of later growth than our neighbour 
countries, and must be content to shake off our bar- 
barity by degrees. The present age seems already 
disposed to be refined, and to distinguish between wild 
fancy and a just numerous composition." 

Purcell puts the whole case into a nutshell. Italy 
was the fountain-head of music for several centuries: 
English music was to learn from Italy until it was 
strong enough to stand by itself; its professors were 
in time to receive more encouragement, and a great 
English school was to be formed. As a matter of 
fact, in the next century a great English school was 
founded, but in a way totally different from that which 
Purcell meant; its founder and greatest representative 
was a German Handel. If it had been founded by a 
native, it would undoubtedly have leaned 
to the Teutonic rather than the Italian 
character, for we Northerners have more affinity to the 



Teutonic than to the Latin races. The reason why 
we all loved Handel when he came was that he gave 
us exactly what we wanted, ready-made; he expressed 
our own feelings in music in the same way that Purcell, 
if he had lived, would have done, and his pupils after 
him. Handel had hosts of contemporary imitators, 
but no pupils, for the pupils of a great teacher do 
not, as a rule, slavishly imitate his style, but use 
whatever gifts they have in further developing the art 
they have learned from him. For more than a century 
English composers were tongue-tied by their native 
diffidence of doing anything against conventionality. 
They were afraid to launch out and express whatever 
feelings they may have had; they were in bondage to 
precedent and rule. The "Degree in Music," with its 
dry-as-dust theory, seemed ever before them. If 
Handel, Mozart, Haydn, and others carried the art 
of music to a higher degree of development than their 
predecessors by "breaking the rules," the English 
were not going to follow their example; they knew 
the rules, and would stick to them. English music 
in the eighteenth century is represented by Handel 
and a number of excellent cathedral organists, who, 
with a few worthy exceptions, composed a vast quantity 
of correct and colourless music, in which an "unusual" 
chord, or resolution of an augmented sixth, was looked 
upon as a sign of great originality. 

Burney remarks on the early age at which the three 
composers who might have founded an English school 
died : Gibbons at forty-four, Pelham Humphreys at 


Story of Organ Music 

twenty-seven, and Purcell at thirty-seven. " Instru- 
mental music, therefore," says he, "has never gained 
much by our own abilities ; for though some 
Burncy's natives of England have had hands sufficient 
View of j. Q execu te the productions of the greatest 
masters on the Continent, they have pro- 
duced but little of their own that has been 
Music much esteemed. Handel s compositions for 

the organ and the harpsichord, with those 
of Scarlatti and Alberti, were our chief practice and 
delight for more than fifty years." 

Handel's compositions for the organ consist of six 
concertos for organ and small orchestra, op. 4, pub- 
lished in 1734; twelve grand concertos for 
al organ and orchestra, op. 6 (1739); six organ 

TJT j concertos, two of them with orchestra, op. 4 

(1741); six concertos with orchestra, op. 7 
(1740-51) ; three concertos with orchestra, first published 
after his death in 1797; and six little fugues for organ 
or harpsichord, written in 1720. "Public players on 
keyed instruments," says Burney, " totally subsisted on 
these concertos for nearly thirty years." 1 

The concertos were not intended for church use, but 
to be played between the acts of the oratorios. Handel's 
reputation on the organ, especially in extempore play- 
ing, was so great that he used it as a means of attract- 
ing the public to hear his oratorios, as St. Philip Neri, 
in a former age, had used the oratorios of Animuccia 
to attract the people to hear his sermons, and the 
1 Vol. iv. p, 429. 

Handel's Organ Works 

thirty-three concertos are said to have been written 
for use when he was not in the vein for extemporising'. 
Many of them are merely transcriptions of his instru- 
mental concertos. One only, the first of op. 7, is 
written for " organo a due clav. e pedale," and here the 
ground bass is given to the pedal, on a separate stave. 

The form of these works varies between that of the 
Italian concerto and the French overture. Being 
entirely intended for the theatre, they are of a light 
and flowing character, which, however, never sinks 
into triviality, and though easy enough to modern 
organists, they were evidently intended more or less 
as display pieces. When they are in the overture form, 
they begin with a solemn introduction, sometimes of 
considerable length, in which are imitations between 
the organ and orchestra, passages of tutti for organ 
and orchestra, others in which the organ or the 
orchestra are silent, and in places the organ part is 
marked Ad libitum, to give an opportunity for impro- 
visation. There follows an allegro, in which a principal 
subject is worked out with intervals of "divisions," 
until it reaches a full close in the dominant. Here a 
subsidiary subject enters, and is worked in free fantasia 
together with the principal theme, and the movement 
closes with a recapitulation of its first few bars. A 
short interlude of adagio now leads to the finale, which 
is a minuet, gavotte, or other dance form. 

The other kind of concerto, in the Italian form, opens 
with a quick movement, of the same construction as in 
the allegro just described. This is followed by a slow 


Story of Organ Music 

movement in a related key, leading through a few bars 
of interlude (as in many of Bach's preludes) to a fugue 
of lively character. 

The above must be taken as a general description 
only: each concerto is a separate work of art, and, as 
such, is not cast in exactly the same mould as its 
predecessors, and in several the two forms are com- 
bined. Fine music as they contain, they cannot be 
compared to the organ works of Bach. A picture 
frame, however well designed, is not, or should not be 
of more importance than the picture itself: and 
Handel's concertos were the frames, in which the 
several acts of his oratorios were set. 

The six fugues composed in 1720 are of no historical 

The position of English organ music during the 
greater part of the eighteenth century was, then, that 
there were a large number of native organists, fully 
competent as executants and accompanists of the 
cathedral service, and able, if they would, to write 
good fugues, but behind Handel in general powers of 
composition, which defect they sought to cover (in 
respect to the organ) by displays of vulgar claptrap. 

Let us digress for a moment to see what was taking 
place in the small parish churches. We 

1UT J 

ace and h ave an amusing account, with proposals 
the Organ . . ... * .. . 

' P h connected with the organ, that will bear 

Churches quoting" Mace published his Mustek's Monu- 
ment in 1676, sixteen years after the Re- 
storation. He was an ardent advocate of congrega- 


Mace and the Organ 

tional singing, and his book opens with this subject. 
After a chapter on the virtue of making all things in 
the service "plain and easie to the capacities" of the 
" Common Poor Ignorant People," he writes, in his 
second chapter, "Concerning Parochial Musick : viz., 
The Singing of Psalms in Churches": 

" I shall not need to blazon it abroad in Print, how 
miserably the Prophet David's Psalms are (as I may 
say) tortured, or tormented, and in the service of God 
made Course or ridiculous thereby: seeing that the 
general outcries of most Parochial churches in the 
nation are more than sufficient to declare and make 
manifest the same, so often as they attempt to sing at 
those Psalms. Therefore I will say no more to that 
particular, nor will I rubb that sore place. Only this 
much I will presume to say viz., that (sure) it were far 
better never to sing at all in the churches, or in God's 
service, than to sing out of tune: that is, not in harmoni- 
cal concord, or agreement. . . . Now by what I have 
said, it cannot but appear that singing of Psalms is 
both a Christian man's Duty, and it ought to be his 
great care to do it well, and no ways slightly or 

" But because this duty is generally neglected in most 
Parochial Congregations in this nation, and that they 
are also at a loss how to have it well performed (and I 
do constantly affirm that 'tis absolutely impossible ever 
to have the Psalms rightly and well performed accord- 
ing to the common way used throughout the nation) I 
will (here following) . . . propose an Absolute-certain 


Story of Organ Music 

and infallible way, how to have them well and rightly 
performed. Now as to this there is no better than to 
sing to some certain instrument, nor is there any 
Instrument so proper for a church as an organ. . . . 
'Tis sad to hear what whining, toting, yelling, or screek- 
ing there is in many country congregations, as if the 
people were affrighted or distracted. And all is for 
want of such a way and remedy as this is. ... And 
now methinks I hear you cry aloud and say, that truly 
if we knew how to raise an Organ we would have it 
very suddenly." (Here he arranges all the details for a 
public subscription.) 

" But now as to an organist. That is such a difficult 
business, as I believe you'll think absolutely impossible 
ever to be obtained ; a constant charge, a terrible busi- 
ness ! . . . Now for your comfort know that this is ten 
times more easie and feasible than that other of the 
organ: and that after ye are once gotten in the way 
you will have organists grow up amongst you as your 
corn grows in your fields, without much of your cost, 
and less of your care." 

Chapter VI. deals with " How to procure an 

"The certain way I will propose shall be this viz., 
First I will suppose you to have a Parish Clark, and 
such an one as is able to set and lead a Psalm, although 
it may be ever so indifferently. 

"Now this being granted, I may say that I will, or 
any Musick-master will, or many more Inferiours (as 
Virginal-players, or many Organ-makers, or the like), I 


Mace and the Organ 

say, any of those will teach such a Parish Clark how to 

pulse or strike most of our common Psalm tunes, 

usually sung in our churches for a trifle (viz., 20, 30, or 

40 shillings): and so well that he need never bestow 

more cost to perform his duty sufficiently during his 

life. . . . And then when this Clark is thus well 

accomplished he will be so doated on by all the pretty 

ingenuous children and young men in the Parish, that 

scarcely any of them but will be begging now and then 

a shilling or two of their 

parents to give the Clark, 

that he may teach them to 

pulse a Psalm-tune, the which 

any such child or youth will 

be able to do in a week or 

fortnight's time very well. 

And then again each youth 

will be as ambitious to pulse 

that Psalm-tune in publick, 

in the Congregation, and no 

doubt but that he shall do MAS MACE > TR1N - COLL - CANTAB. 

it sufficiently well. 

"And thus little by little the Parish in a short time 
will swarm or abound with organists, and sufficiently 
enough for that service. For you must know (and I 
entreat you to believe me) that (seriously) it is one of 
the most easie pieces of performance in all Instrumental 
Musick to pulse one of our Psalm tunes truly and well, 
after a very little showing upon an organ. The Clark 
likewise will quickly get his money by this means, and 


Story of Organ Music 

I suppose no parent will grutch it him, but rather 
rejoyce in it." 

But the puritanical hatred of organs was not yet 
dead, and in the next chapter Mace provides another 
"infallible way" to get the Psalms well sung by those 
who " take Boggle at the very name of the organ," by 
suggesting that the parents should so " indent with the 
master of the Grammar School that the children shall 
be taught to sing." 

Here we must leave the quaint old musician. 
Whether any country churches put his suggestions to 
the test of practice, we know not, but the want of an 
instrument of some kind soon became so much felt that 
the mediaeval custom of employing a band was re- 
introduced, and the village carpenter, the miller, the 
blacksmith, played the flute, the violoncello, and other 
instruments, both wind and string. The village 
church music thus became a source of common 
interest and good fellowship, though it was probably 
intolerably coarse to refined ears. The custom was 
continued till the third quarter of the nineteenth 
century, when the harmonium gradually ousted the 
bands, and is now itself being discarded in favour of the 
organ, which, however often it is abused, condemned, 
and destroyed, always rises again and reasserts its 




Italian organ music Vallotti Santucci Capocci Terrabugio 
Bossi German organ music W. F. Bach Pupils of J. S. Bach 
Rinck Albrechtsberger Vogler The Schneiders Mendelsso hn 
Hesse Schumann The Fischers Faisst Thiele Ritter 
Merkel Rheinberger Fahrmann Reger French organ music 
Benoist Lambillotte Nisard Lefebure-Wely Franck 
Boellmann Saint-Saens Dubois Guilmant Widor Dutch 
organists Van Eijken De Lange. 

WE have now traced the story of organ music from its 
earliest records in each country down to the middle of 
the eighteenth century that is, to the death of Bach in 
Germany, Handel in England, Martini in Italy, and 
Rameau in France. It remains to examine what has 
been done in the last century and a half. 

Italy has lagged behind the rest of Europe, both in 
organ music and the instrument itself. Until the 
last decades of the nineteenth century Italian 
organs were not much in advance of those 

of the days of Frescobaldi; nor did Italian __*' 

J . Music 

organists make much reputation beyond 

their own country. For Italy was far more occupied 
with the attractions and claims of rival operatic singers 


Story of Organ Music 

than With serious music; and not only the organ, but 
the whole of Italian church music, with few exceptions, 
gradually sank to the deplorable condition commented 
on by Mendelssohn and by many since his day, out of 
which the present Pope is making such laudable efforts 
to raise it. 

Amongst the Italian organists who attained a certain 
amoynt of reputation was Padre Francesco Antonio 

Vallotti, the master of the more famous 
Vallotti .,., ' . . 

Abbe Vogler. He was born in 1697, and 

from 1728 to his death in 1780 was maestro of the 
Church of San Antonio at Padua. Burney, who saw 
everything Italian through magnifying glasses, writing 
in 1773, * sa y s of this church: " It is a large old Gothic 
building. ... At the entrance into the choir, the 
majestic appearance of four immense organs is very 
striking, of which the front pipes are so highly polished 
as to have the appearance of burnished silver; the 
frames, too, are richly carved and gilt. These four 
organs are all alike ; there are no panels to the 
frames, but the pipes are seen on three sides of a 

The organs are still there. They are suspended on 
the four massive columns which support the central 
dome, and their lofts are each spacious enough to 
accommodate a choir. Burney heard Mass performed 
in this church by two choirs and two of the organs, and 
the present writer heard the same combination in 1892. 

1 Present State of Music in France and Italy (1773), p. 135. 

Italian Organ Music 

The organs, however, did not strike him as being larger 
than the choir organ of an English cathedral. Tartini, 
who lived at Padua, has left on record his great 
admiration of Vallotti's organ-playing, which Burney 
did not hear. Much of his music remains in MS. in 
the archives of San Antonio. 

Marco Santucci, born in 1762, was a prolific writer 
of church music and symphonies. He was maestro of 
the cathedral at Lucca, and died in 1843. 
He left twelve fugued Sonatas for the organ, 
published by Ricordi of Milan, and 112 Versetti. He 
was also a writer on music. 

Italian organ-playing has begun to revive of late 
years. The instruments are being rapidly brought up 
to date, and several eminent composers 
have arisen. Filippo Capocci, born at Rome 
in 1840, a son of the late maestro of St. John Lateran, 
has been since 1875 organist of that church, and has 
published a large quantity of excellent organ music. 

Giuseppe Terrabugio, born in 1842, was a _ 

i f DU u j , Terrabugio 

pupil of Rhemberger, and is an ardent 

worker in the reform of Italian church music. He is 
the author of an organ school, some organ sonatas, 
fugues, and other works. 

Enrico Marco Bossi, born in 1861, a pupil of the 
Liceo of Bologna and the Conservatorio at Milan, 
has been successively organist of the 

cathedral at Como, Professor of the Organ 
at the Conservatorio of San Pietro a Maiella, at Naples, 
and is now Director of the Liceo at Bologna. He is a 


Story of Organ Music 

fine organist, and is the joint author, with Tebaldini, 
of a school of modern organ-playing. He has com- 
posed an organ sonata, and a concerto for organ and 
orchestra. The "Cecilia" edition contains an "Inno 
Trionfale " dedicated to W. T. Best, written in good 
classical style, and the same collection contains works 
by other living Italian organists, which show that they 
are fully up to date in the modern art of organ-playing 
and composition for the instrument. 

The height to which German organ music had soared 
in the hands of Bach could not be maintained. Bach 

left many pupils, and several sons, but they 
German ^ not a pp roac h him in genius, though his 
__ rg . eldest son Friedemann was the finest organist 

in Germany after his father's death. But the 
attention of the musical world of Germany was now 
almost entirely drawn away from the organ to the 
symphony, the opera, and the oratorio ; and Haydn, 
Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Weber, although several 
of them played the organ in their younger days, seemed 
to forget its existence, except as a useful instrument for 
accompaniment. When they wrote for keyed instru- 
ments, it was for the harpsichord and the rapidly 
developing pianoforte, whose superiority over the organ 
in the matter of rhythm, expression, and responsiveness 
of touch soon began to be evident. It is true that two 
of our most brilliant organ concert pieces emanated 
from the pen of Mozart ; but these two great fantasias 
were written, not for the organ, but for a mechanical 
clockwork instrument ! There continued to be great 


Bach's Pupils 

players of the organ in Germany, just as there were 
in England and France ; but the instrument took a 
secondary rank to the pianoforte in public estimation, 
and while sonatas were poured forth in thousands for 
the latter, the compositions for the older instrument 
were counted by scores only, until the improvements in 
its construction of the latter half of the nineteenth 
century brought it up to modern requirements, and led 
to its increasing use in large concert-halls. 

There was, of course, no falling off in the numbers 
of the organists, for every church required one or more, 
as before ; and the officials upon whom the duty of 
selection fell, took care that the standard of performance 
was as high as could be attained. Of these organists 

we have only space to mention a few of the _ 

W, F. Bach 
more prominent. Of Bach's sons, the eldest, 

Wilhelm Friedemann, born in 1710, was organist of the 
Marienkirche at Halle, and died in 1780. " His style," 
says Forkel, " was elevated, solemn, and imbued with 
religious feeling." He preferred extemporising to 
writing, and hence he only left a few com- 
positions. Of Bach's pupils, J. G. Vogler, 
Homilius, Krebs, Goldberg, Altnikol, Kittel, 
Johann Schneider, Schubart, Zeigler, Miithel, and his 
cousin, Ernst Bach, were all more or less famous 
organists in their day, though now forgotten ; in fact 
the fame of Bach himself was for nearly a century 
after his death a mere tradition : he was so much in 
advance of his time that only of late years has the 
general public begun to recognise his greatness. He 


Story of Organ Music 

composed for the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, 
not for the eighteenth. 

J. C. H. Rinck, the son of an organist, was born 
in Thuringia in 1770, and was a pupil of several 

Thuringian organists, and finally of Kittel. 

He held several important posts and gave 
"organ concerts" in various parts of Germany. He 
died in 1846, after having produced more for the organ 
than any of his contemporaries. His style is dignified 
and simple ; he wrote few fugues, and his music 
presents few difficulties to the executant, yet it is all 
pure and attractive organ music. His reason for 
avoiding fugue is much to the point, and shows that 
he appreciated his position in history. "Bach," said 
he to Fe"tis, "is a colossus, who dominates the musical 
world : one cannot hope to follow in his footsteps, for 
he has exhausted everything in his own domain. I 
have always considered that if I am to succeed in com- 
posing anything worthy of approval, it must be on 
different lines from his." And the justice of his view 
is borne out by the fact that his works are still played, 
while those of most of his contemporaries are for- 
gotten. He is well known in England by his Organ 

J. G. Albrechtsberger, the master of Beethoven, was 

born in 1736, and died as Capellmeister of 

Alb tchts- g t Stephen's, Vienna, in 1809. Amongst 

his numerous compositions are eleven sets 

of Fugues and three of Preludes, for the organ. 

A remarkable career was that of Georg Joseph 

German Organists 

Vogler, generally known as the Abbe Vogler. Born 
at Wurzburg in 1749, he studied at Bologna, and at 

Padua under Vallotti, and then went to Rome, 

V osyler 
where he entered the priesthood, rising to 

certain high offices, and being given the order of the 
Golden Spur. Returning to Germany, he opened a 
music school at Mannheim, and became Capellmeister 
to the Court. Leaving this employment, he invented 
a simplified organ, which he called an "Orchestrion," 
with which he made tours as an organ-virtuoso in 
France, Sweden, and London. Shortly before his 
death, which occurred in 1814, he opened a music 
school at Darmstadt, of which Weber and Meyerbeer 
were pupils. He composed and produced many operas, 
symphonies, and compositions for the church and 
chamber : for the organ, a concerto, preludes, chorales, 
and trios. His music and his invention are no longer 
of much interest, except as forming the subject of the 
well-known poem by Robert Browning. 

F^tis, in his Biographic Uni-verselle, describes no less 
than sixteen musicians of the name of Schneider, of 
whom one was an organ-builder and seven 

f /^ Tf 

were organists. J. C. F. Schneider was _ '' ' 
, o-. , ., - . . r ., Schneider 

born in 1786, and was a pupil of his father, 

who, beginning life as a weaver, had changed his 
profession and become a competent organist. 

So rapid was the boy's progress that at eight years 
old he was employed as organist by the town council 
of Zittau. He then went through the university at 
Leipsic, and became organist at St. Thomas's Church, 

227 . Q 

Story of Organ Music 

where he gained fame as a teacher, and more as a 
conductor of provincial festivals. His chief contribu- 
tion to the literature of the organ is a Handbuch dcs 
Organisten, treating of composition of chorales, etc. 
He died in 1853. 

Still more famous was his brother, Johann Gottlob, 
one of the greatest of the German nineteenth-century 
organists. He was born in 1789, and was also a pupil 
of his father, and afterwards of Unger. In 1811 he 
became organist of the university church at Leipsic, 
and made a great reputation by his organ concerts in 
that town and many other parts of Germany. His 
fugues, fantasias, and preludes for the organ are of 
excellent quality. 

Mendelssohn (born 1809, died 1847) was as great 
a virtuoso on the organ as on the piano. He composed 
and dedicated to Attwood, organist of St. 
Mendels- Pau i> S) three p re l u des and Fugues, op. 37 ; 
and later on he published six organ Sonatas. 
These fine works are too well known to English 
organists to need detailed description. The sonatas 
have been criticised by old-fashioned German organ- 
ists as too " Klaviermassig " i.e., too much like 
piano music. That they are in the general style of the 
piano music of their day is true, but all the best organ 
music of any period has reflected more or less the 
general keyboard style in vogue ; and the remark about 
Mendelssohn's sonatas only shows that the organ was 
beginning to keep pace with the piano. The sonatas 
are not at all in the same forms as piano sonatas ; on th 


German Organists 

contrary, four of them are practically chorale arrange- 
ments on a large scale, and the other two are forms 
in which the fugue predominates, and are particularly 
well suited to the genius of the organ. 

Adolf Friedrich Hesse, born at Breslau in the same 
year as Mendelssohn, and died there in 1863, a virtuoso 
of high reputation, has left a large quantity 
of music which is popular more on account 
of its smoothness of melody and ease of execution 
than because of any depth of musical expression. 

Robert Schumann's sketches, canons, and fugues, 
though fairly effective on the organ, were not originally 

intended for that instrument, but for the , 

j . . T,, , , , , Schumann 

pedal piano, ihe canons and sketches are 

beautiful little pieces, but the fugues are rather heavy 
and dull. 

Riemann's Lexicon mentions fifteen musicians named 
Fischer. Michael Gotthard Fischer (1773-1829) was 
a pupil of Kittel, organist of Erfurt, and 
a very distinguished player and composer. . ', 
Karl August Fischer, born in 1828, was 
organist of the English church, and afterwards of 
that of the Three Kings, at Dresden. He 

died in 1892. He was well known as a fine . ' ' 
... - , . . Fischer 

organist, and composer for his instrument. 

Amongst his compositions are four symphonies for 
organ with orchestra, three concertos, and duets for 
organ and violin, organ and violoncello. 

Immanuel G. F. Faisst was born in 1823, and studied 
theology, but gave this up for music, giving organ 


Story of Organ Music 

concerts in various parts of Germany. He finally 
settled at Stuttgart, where he joined with others in 

founding a conservatorium, of which he was 
raisst ,. _ . 

professor of the organ and composition, and 

afterwards director. He died in 1894. He published 
several organ pieces. 

Friedrich Ludwig Thiele (born 1816, died 1848) com- 
posed concertos and other works for the organ. 

Amongst the numerous Ritters whose names occur 
in German Lexicons, the most eminent in connection 
with the organ is August Gottfried Ritter, 
born in 1811, a pupil of M. G. Fischer. He 
was organist successively of Erfurt, Merseburg, and 
the Cathedral of Magdeburg. He died in 1885. 
His Kunst dcs Orgelspiels, an instruction book, 
Geschichte des Orgelspiels, Orgelfreund, a collection of 
pieces by various composers, and Orgelarchi-v, are valu- 
able contributions to the history and literature of the 
instrument; and he composed organ Sonatas, Choral- 
vorspiele, Fugues, and Variations. His first Sonata, 
in D minor, is in reality a particularly vigorous fugue, 
whose chromatic subject is foreshadowed in an introduc- 
tion or prelude ; and between the prelude and the fugue 
there is a beautiful andante, in four voices, accompanied 
by a soft basso ostinato on the pedal. His Sonata in A, 
No. 4, has a totally different form. Beginning with u 
somewhat lengthy moderate in rondo form, it ends 
with variations on a boisterous folksong, whose march- 
like character seems almost more suitable to a military 
band than the organ. 


Merkel and Rheinberger 

Gustav Adolf Merkel (born in 1827, died at Dresden 
in 1885) was a pupil of J. Schneider. He was organist 
of the Kreuzekirche, and then of the Court 
church at Dresden. He composed nine 
Sonatas for two performers and double pedal, an un- 
usual combination; Studies for the pedal, Choral Studies, 
Choralvorspiele, Preludes and Fugues, and other com- 
positions, besides an Organ School. In his Sonata in 
D minor, No. 5, the first movement is a combination of 
sonata and rondo forms; the second movement is an 
intermezzo recalling the opening subject, and leading 
to a fugue. 

Joseph Gabriel von Rheinberger, born in 1839, pro- 
duced compositions of a high order in every depart- 
ment of modern music. He was Court- . 

Capellmeister at Munich, where he died in 

1901. His works for the organ consist of 

a number of Sonatas, two Concertos, a Suite for 
organ, violin, and violoncello, Ricercari, Monologues, 
Trios for two manuals and pedal, besides pieces 
for the organ and violin. He had a rich fund of 
invention, a sympathy with all that is best in modern 
music, and a greater mastery over fugue and counter- 
point than any of his contemporaries ; his organ works 
are therefore masterpieces of pure music, on a level 
with the highest orchestral art of his day. He makes 
comparatively little use of modern mechanical resources 
for changing the registers, perhaps because the German 
organ-builders were slow to adopt the new inventions. 
Though fully master of the modern orchestra, Rhein- 


Story of Organ Music 

berger seems to have discountenanced the idea of 
treating the organ in orchestral style, even to the 
limited extent possible on the German organs of his 
day ; on the contrary, he makes use of bold and telling 
counterpoint, or fine masculine melody, through the 
medium of massive organ tone. Like Bach, he fre- 
quently writes many pages in succession for full organ, 
without any change of power; but he also knows how 
to produce the most delicate contrasts of tone with 
the soft stops, when he requires to do so. His sonatas 
do not take the form of piano sonatas. They are, for 
the most part, in three movements, the first and last 
of which are generally a prelude and fugue divided 
from one another by an intermezzo, constructed in two 
contrasting sections on the same principle as the minuet 
and trio, but with more freedom of form. They are 
therefore something similar in form to Bach's great 
C major Toccata and Fugue, with its beautiful soft inter- 
mezzo in A minor; but the Rheinberger sonata has the 
modern feature of a close connection between the first 
and last movements by the use of the same motives 
in both. In the earlier works he sometimes uses frag- 
ments of plainsong in combination with the fugues, but 
he afterwards discards this device and trusts entirely 
to original work, while his mastery over the instrument 
seems to grow with each new sonata. One of the finest 
of the later sonatas, op. 142, dedicated to M. Guilmant, 
has as its last movement a Fantasia in recitative form, 
followed by a great fugue built on a motive (whether 
accidental or not) from the Cambridge Chimes. 


French Organ Composers 

Amongst the younger composers are Ernst Hans 
Fahrmann and Max Reger. The first was born in 
1860, and is now cantor and organist at the Johannes- 
kirche at Dresden. He has composed four great organ 
sonatas, a concerto, and other works. 

Max Reger, born in 1873, a highly gifted and prolific 
composer, has published no less than eighteen composi- 
tions for the organ, many of which are on a large scale. 
Amongst them are fifty-two Choralvorspiele, two 
Sonatas, several Fantasias, and Variations. He is much 
under the influence of Bach, and dedicates a suite 
" Den Manen J. S. Bachs." 

Francois Benoist, born in 1794, died in 1878, gained 
the Prix de Rome at the Paris Conservatoire, and, on 
his return from Italy, became Court Organist 
at Paris. His collected works are contained ~ 
in twelve volumes, entitled Bibliotheque de g no : s l 
I'organiste. Three of his pieces published 
in Cecilia "Priere" and two "Marches religieuses," 
are very sentimental. 

Louis Lambillotte, who was born in 1797, and died in 
1857, organist of Charleroi and Dinant, was an eminent 

writer on music and composer for the _ 

i u u j .LL r\ j r T Lambillotte 

church. He entered the Order of Jesus in 

1825, and was one of the earliest of the band of 
reformers of plainsong who prepared the ground for 
what is now known as the " Solesmes System," in 
which the endeavour is made to perform plainsong as 
it was in the ninth century, before it came under the 
influence of measured music. This is the system which 


Story of Organ Music 

the present Pope wishes to establish as the orthodox 
method of the Roman Church. Lambillotte published 
in 1842-44 a collection of organ music, under the 
title Musee des Organistes. 

Theodore Nisard, the pseudonym of Abb6 Xavier 
Normand, born in 1812, was another of the band of 

ardent students and reformers of plainsong-. 
Nisard A ri ,. . . , . ,. 

After acting as organist and music director 

for some years, he gave up practical work and devoted 
himself to literature. In 1840 he published a Manuel 
des organistes de la campagne, treating of the accom- 
paniment of plainsong; in 1860, L ' Accompagnement du 
Plainchant sur I'orgue^ and Les vrais Principes de Vaccom- 
pagnement du Plainchant sur I'orgue, d'apres les Ma'itrcs 
du XV. et XVI. Siecles. The treatment of the organ in 
plainsong was at this time occupying the attention of 
many French musicians, as part of the reformation of 
the whole subject of Gregorian music. 

Louis James Alfred Lefe'bure-We'ly, born in 1817, 
died in 1869, was a son of the organist of St. Roche 

, at Paris. He succeeded his father in this 

Lcreburc- . ., _ - , . 

^ 6 j position at the age of fourteen, and in 1847 

became organist of the Madeleine; but in 
the following year he gave this up, and devoted himself 
entirely to composition. He was an excellent impro- 
viser on the organ and harmonium, and he published 
music for both instruments which at one time was 
exceedingly popular, though of no great artistic value. 
He was also a fashionable pianoforte composer. 

C6sar Auguste Franck, who was born in 1822 and 


Living French Organists 

died in 1890, was the leader of a French school of 
modern instrumental composition, and a very fine or- 
ganist. Amongst his organ works are a Pre- 
lude, Fugue, and Variations, Fantasia in C 
major, Priere in C sharp minor, "Grand Piece sym- 
phonique," and Pastorale in E. 

Leon Boellmann, born in 1862, died in 1897 at Paris, 
was a fine organist, who, in spite of his early death, 

published no less than sixty-eight composi- _ .. 

* . Boellmann 

tions. Amongst them are a "rantasie 

dialogued " for organ and orchestra, a Suite for the 
organ alone, and one hundred little pieces, entitled 
Heures mystiques. 

Amongst the most celebrated of living French organ 
composers are Charles Camille Saint-Saens, born in 
1835, Francois Dubois, and Fe"lix Alexandre Guilmant, 
both born in 1837, and Charles Marie Widor, born in 

Saint-Saens is renowned throughout Europe, not only 
as one of the greatest composers, but as one of the most 

brilliant executants of the day, on both the . 

j *.u f oo^o Saint-Saens 

organ and the piano. From 1858 to 1870 

he was organist of the Madeleine, since which time he 
has devoted himself entirely to composition. A the- 
matic catalogue of his works was published by Durand 
in 1897. In his Marche religieuse, a title so beloved by 
French composers, he cleverly avoids the weak senti- 
mentality that is usually connected with this form. A 
Fantasia for three keyboards and pedal, written on four 
staves, is like a piano concerto in style, but its effects 

2 35 

Story of Organ Music 

largely depend on delicate manipulation of the stops, as 
in most French music. Three Preludes and Fugues, 
dedicated respectively to MM. Widor, Guilmant, and 
Gigout, are very interesting. Prelude No. i consists of 
a harmonic basis embroidered with arpeggios, in which 
a single motive predominates, foreshadowing the fugue. 
Prelude No. 2 has a pianoforte figure on the right hand 
accompanying a duet between the left hand and pedal 
in yuasi-canon form. 

Dubois won the Prix de Rome in 1861, and became 
organist of the Madeleine in 1871. He has composed 

every kind of music. His Douse pieces pour 

Dubois _. ... . ,. i i 

orgue ou piano pedaher are melodious lyrical 

pieces, depending on careful registering for their due 
effect when played on the organ. In No. 9, " Marche 
des Rois Mages," the highest B of a four and a two-feet 
stop on the Swell is to be held down by a weight 
throughout the piece, to represent the star in the east, 
while the march is played on the Great and Choir. 

Guilmant was born at Boulogne-sur-Mer, where, at 
the age of sixteen, he became organist of St. Nicholas's 

Church, which he left in 1871 for Ste. Trinite" 
Guilmant _ . , , 

in Pans. He has become well known in 

England, Russia, and Italy, by his concert tours, in 
which his intellectual and spirited rendering of the 
finest organ music form a great attraction. Not only is 
he a prolific composer of most interesting organ music, 
and a masterly extemporiser, but he has edited a quantity 
of ancient music, under the titles of Archives dcs Mai f res 
de V orgue and Ecole classique d' orgue. His organ works 


Living French Organists 

include seven Sonatas, seven Symphonies, and a vast 
number of smaller pieces, besides arrangements for the 
organ and harmonium. He is a master of fugue, which 
he uses in combination with the march and other lyrical 
forms with the happiest results. His sonatas are 
generally in regular binary form, as to the first and last 
movements ; but he also writes them in the more usual 
modern organ form of prelude, intermezzo, and fugue. 
Like his compatriots, he depends on the registering, 
which is carefully indicated, for a great number of his 
effects. The coda of his " Funeral March " consists of 
a melody played by the right foot, accompanied by the 
left foot, with rapid arpeggios in both hands on the voix 
celestes, voix htimaine, and tremulant. 

Widor became organist of St. Sulpice at Paris in 
1870. He has composed eight Symphonies for the 

organ alone, and one for the orchestra and 

,, i i Wider 

organ. They are on a large scale, con- 
sisting of four or five movements, instead of the 
orthodox three, usual in organ sonatas. The third 
symphony is a kind of suite, consisting of prelude, 
minuet, march, canon, fugue, and a brilliant finale. 
Unlike Guilmant, he rarely changes the stops during a 
piece, contenting himself with indicating the combina- 
tions to be used on each clavier at the commencement. 

Amongst famous Belgian organists is Nicolas Jacques 
Lemmens, who was born in 1823, and died in 1881. 
He was Professor of the Organ at the 
Brussels Conservatoire, and in 1879 he 
opened a school for organists and choirmasters at 


Story of Organ Music 

Malines. He was the husband of the famous English 
singer, Madame Lemmens-Sherrington. He composed 
a quantity of excellent organ music, and published an 
organ school, besides which he was the author of a 
method of accompanying Plainsong. In England he is 
well known by his Fantasia in E minor, called the 
" Storm," a set of variations on a slow, march-like 
theme, giving way to rapid chromatic passages in the 
lowest octaves of the sixteen-feet stops, which gradually 
rise in a crescendo to the top of the manual, when the 
full organ bursts in with a stormy interchange of 
arpeggios and enormous chords ; then comes a 
"prayer "on the voix celestes, an agitato on the open 
diapasons, a new melody, and the piece closes with a 
recapitulation of part of the "prayer." Except in the 
crescendo, the stops are not changed during the course 
of the different movements; in this respect Lemmens 
leans rather to the German than the French treatment 
of the organ, while the composition is French in style. 

Amongst celebrated Dutch organists Simon van 
Eijken takes a high rank. He was born in 1822, and 
died in 1868. The son of an organist, he 
was trained at Leipsic Conservatorium, 
where he came under the favourable notice of Mendels- 
sohn, who recommended him to complete his studies 
under Johann Schneider at Dresden. He became 
organist of two churches in succession at Amsterdam, 
and afterwards of the Reformed church at Elberfeld. 
He composed three Sonatas, 150 Choralvorspiele, 
twenty-five Preludes, a Toccato and Fugue on the notes 


De Lange 

B, A, C, H, Variations, and other works, all of a very 
high order. His Sonata No. 3 in A minor is in pianoforte 
sonata form, but with contrapuntal work suitable for 
the organ. It is in the usual three movements, ending 
with a fugue, the course of which is interrupted by 
lyrical episodes, forming a beautiful contrast to the more 
severe fugal work. 

Samuel de Lange, born at Rotterdam in 1840, re- 
ceived his first teaching from his father, organist of 
St. Laurence at Rotterdam. As an organ 
virtuoso he has made a name in Germany, 
Austria, France, and England, and at present he is 
Professor of the Organ and Counterpoint, Choirmaster, 
and Lecturer on Musical History at Stuttgart. He has 
composed seven Sonatas and other works for the organ. 
In his Sonata in D major he says: "I wish crescendo 
and diminuendo to be always made by registering, 
never by the swell pedal." 




Roseingrave Arne Stanley Nares Cooke Dupuis Beck with 
The Wesleys Clarke- Whitfeld Russell Crotch Novello 
Adams S. S. Wesley Smart Stirling Spark Ouseley Best 
The present English school. 

LET us now return to the progress of organ music in 
England. Overshadowed by the genius of Handel, and 
having instruments of good tone as far as they went, 
but inadequate for the massive effects of sound so 
peculiarly the property of the organ, our cathedral 
organists contributed little of importance to the litera- 
ture of the instrument beyond a number of excellent 
fugues, for many of the other movements of their 
voluntaries can scarcely be ranked as first-class com- 

Thomas Roseingrave, organist of St. George's, 

Hanover Square, and composer to the King's Theatre, 

t published Voluntaries and Fugues, made on 

purpose for the Organ or Harpsichord, in 

1730, and Six Double Fugues for the Organ 

or Harpsichord" in 1750. These are good, solid 

works. They are not under the influence of Handel, 

but are true native English productions. 


English Organ Music 

The famous composer, Dr. Arne (1710-78), pub- 
lished some concertos of great merit. Dr. Pearce has 

arranged a fine toccata by him for the 

, . _.. . Dr. Arne 

modern organ, in which a perpetual move- 
ment is kept up by one or the other hand, while a good 
deal of the left-hand work is given by the editor to the 

A remarkable organist was John Stanley, Mus. Bac. 
(1713-86). At the age of two he became blind by an 
accident, yet such was his force of character 
that he distinguished himself, not only as an 
executant, but as a composer of oratorios, a teacher, 
and an entrepreneur, or, as we should say, a concert 
agent. For the organ he wrote three sets of Volun- 
taries, from which Dr. Pearce has arranged an adagio 
and allegro fugato. The fugato is excellent, and the 
adagio is less commonplace than many similar con- 
temporary compositions of this class. 

James Nares, Mus. Doc. (1715-83), organist and 
composer to the Chapel Royal, published // Principio; 
or, a regular Introduction to Playing the Organ 
and Harpsichord, said to be the first of its 
kind, and Six Fugues, -with Introductory Voluntaries for 
the Organ or Harpsichord. In the preface to // 
Principio the author says: " It has long been a matter 
of wonder to lovers of music that no regular introduc- 
tion to the art of harpsichord-playing has ever been 
offered to the public. . . . The author has not the 
vanity to imagine that this attempt is perfect in its 
kind, but being convinced that it may be useful, and 


Story of Organ Music 

that a regular introduction is much needed, he will 
venture to recommend this work, executed as it is, till 
something- more perfect on a similar plan shall be pro- 
duced." Instructions are given in the clefs, notes, 
time, etc., scales and shakes; then come little minuets 
and gavottes in two or three parts, followed by "easy 
lessons" and more difficult ones. Nothing whatever is 
said about the management of stops, keyboards, or any 
other part of the organ; in fact the instrument seems 
to be forgotten, as it is not mentioned after the title- 
page. The Six Fugues are, as a rule, good fugal 
writing, with occasional relapses into poor episodes. 
Some of the Voluntaries, on the other hand, are miser- 
ably commonplace. 

Benjamin Cooke, Mus. Doc. (1734-93), organist of 
Westminster Abbey, a famous glee-writer, seems to 

have published no organ music in his life- 

Dr. Cooke .. -. ,. . 6 , . . ... , , 

time, but after his death his son published 

two collections of his fugues and other pieces. The 
fugues are Handelian in character, and, to give fulness, 
portions of them are played in big chords, with running 
counterpoint in the bass. In other places they are in 
two parts only, with the hands at opposite ends of the 
keyboard, nearly four octaves apart, a weird kind of 
contrast to the full chords. An occasional pedal enters, 
its lowest note being GGG. Many of the introductions 
are in triple time in three parts on the diapasons, a 
favourite form of movement, and they are sometimes 
followed by cornet solos. In the second volume there 
is a regular toccata, well worked out, and in one of the 


English Organ Music 

fugues the pedal takes part in the subject, an unusual 
feature in an English eighteenth-century composition. 

Thomas Sanders Dupuis, Mus. Doc. (1733-96), of 
French extraction, the successor of Dr. Boyce at the 
Chapel Royal, and one of the best organists _ 

r i_- j LI- t- J JIT- rr i s Dr. DupUlS 

of his day, published Nine Voluntaries for 
the Organ, performed before their Majesties at the Chapel 
Royal, St. Paul's Cathedral, etc. There arose a form of 
voluntary in three or four movements about this time 
whose general construction consisted of a slow move- 
ment in triple rhythm, and for three voices, on the 
"diapasons," followed by a cornet or trumpet solo, 
with only a bass, and no harmony, and ending with a 
fugue. This form is so frequently found (sometimes 
with slight modifications) that it seems to have become 
conventional. The first movement might be fairly 
interesting, but it was more often very dull ; the second 
was usually, though not always, vulgar; and the fugue 
almost invariably gave proof that English composers 
could excel in this art when they gave themselves the 
trouble. Dupuis' voluntaries are on this plan: the 
work is good throughout, and the Cornet solos are 
relieved by interludes on the swell or echo. Some of 
the music is Handelian in character, though other parts 
are not. 

John Christmas Beckwith, Mus. Doc. (1751-1809), 
organist of Norwich Cathedral, and cele- 
brated for his extempore playing, composed R , 
a Favourite Concerto for the Organ, Harpsi- 
chord, or Pianoforte in 1795, and Six Voluntaries in 1780. 

243 R 

Story of Organ Music 

Charles Wesley (1756-1834), a native of Bristol, and 

a nephew of the famous Methodist leader, 

Charles Organist-in-Ordinary to George IV., and 

organist of St. George's, Hanover Square, 

composed a set of six Concertos for the organ or 


Samuel Wesley (1766-1837), a brother of Charles, was 
a great composer, a violinist, and the greatest organist 
in England of his day. In 1800 he became 
amuei an en th us | as ti c admirer of the works of John 
Sebastian Bach, to the propagation of which 
he devoted a considerable portion of his career, playing 
the violin works at concerts, and the organ works in 
churches. In 1810 he published, in conjunction with 
C. F. Horn, the first English edition of the Wohltem- 
perirte Clavier. He was a powerful extempore player, 
and was specially great in the fugues of Bach and Handel. 
For the organ he composed eleven Concertos, which 
remain in MS. at the British Museum (Add. MSS., 
35,018), two Duets, a great number of Voluntaries, 
Preludes, Fugues, Interludes, and a Concerto for the 
organ and violin. A good deal of his music has been 
published of late years by the firms of Novello and 
Augener. The organ concertos, dated 1775, are scored 
for organ, two horns, two oboes, two violins, violoncello, 
and bass. They are evidently more or less inspired by 
Handel, but use is made of the Alberti bass, which is 
not in Handel's style. Several fugues are published in 
Messrs. Augener's Cecilia edition. They are all very 
long, and there is much excellent music in them. In 



(From Oil Painting by John Jackson, R.A. Original painting in possession of the 
Rev. John Jackson, nephew of the artist.) 

English Organ Music 

the preludes he is very fond of chords in what may be 
called dotted rhythm (e.g., a dotted quaver followed by 
a semiquaver), a reminiscence of Handel, much indulged 
in by English organists at one period under the name of 
Maestoso. The rage for marches had not yet begun, 
but Wesley makes use of gavotte and other dance 
rhythms in his preludes. All English organists owe 
him a debt of gratitude for his efforts in raising the 
organ to a dignified position as an exponent of solid 
music, rather than of the senseless claptrap of cornet 
and trumpet solos. By the permission of the Rev. John 
Jackson (a nephew of the artist) we are enabled to re- 
produce a portrait of this great musician, painted in 
1829 by John Jackson, R.A. 

John Clarke- Whitfeld, Mus. Doc. (1770-1836), a 
native of Gloucester, organist of Trinity and St. John's 
College, and Professor of Music in Cam- 
bridge University, organist of Hereford r 

Cathedral, arranged the vocal works of 
Handel for organ or pianoforte in 1809, this being 
perhaps one of the earliest of the sets of "Arrange- 
ments " for the organ on a large scale of which such a 
number was published in the nineteenth century. In 
the absence of the power of writing original music, 
there arose a perfect mania for the adaptation of classi- 
cal music, especially that of Germany, for the use of 
organists. This was a natural outcome of the apprecia- 
tion which was beginning to be felt for music of a high 
class, apart from the Italian opera, and was legitimate 
enough with regard to the contrapuntal music of 


Story of Organ Music 

Handel, the quartets of Pleyel, Haydn, Mozart, etc. 
But it was extended to vocal compositions of all 
kinds, to the symphonies of Beethoven, Schumann, 
and others, in which expression, tone contrast, and 
accent are the soul of the music, rather than contra- 
puntal work, which is more especially the province of 
the organ. 

William Russell, Mus. Bac. (1777-1813), organist of 
the Foundling Hospital, published about 1807 a book of 
Twelve Voluntaries for the Organ or Piano- 
forte* and a second book in 1812. These 
Russell ' . . . 

collections are interesting, not so much on 

account of their intrinsic musical value, as that they 
show the influences at work at the time they were 
composed. The regulation form of the voluntary is 
generally adhered to namely, a slow movement for the 
diapasons followed by a cornet or trumpet solo, and 
ending with a fugue, the last being, as with all English 
organists, by far the most interesting movement of the 
three. Pedals are occasionally used to duplicate the 
left hand, and the pedal part goes down to GGG. 
The influence of Handel, Mozart, and Haydn is very 
evident. The "trumpet" movement of the first 
voluntary is in the style of Handel, but bombastic 
and trivial. It is followed by a slow intermezzo, con- 
sisting of a melody in the right hand, accompanied by 
chords in the left, reminding one of a Mozart pianoforte 
slow movement. 

No. 2 has a minuet, evidently inspired by Mozart, 
and an allegretto like Handel. The cornet solo of No. 3 


English Organ Music 

is a Polacca: as usual, it is in two parts only, treble 
and bass. The adagio of No. 4 reminds us of Haydn, 
and is succeeded by a lively dance, called a Siciliano, for 
solo hautboy on the swell and solo cremona on the 
choir. Several of the loud movements have the con- 
ventional dotted rhythm. The fugues need no detailed 
description, they are all excellent. There are several 
commonplace marches, foreshadowing the modern 
rage for this form of dance music, which takes the 
same place in modern organ music of the popular 
order as the cornet and trumpet solos of one hundred 
years ago. 

The first voluntary of Book 1 1 . has the following quaint 
remark: " As the swell in this and the third voluntary 
is intended as an echo to the trumpet, it is requested that 
the pedal may not be used." This shows that the pedal 
was an ad libitum addition to the bass, to be employed or 
not, according to the inclination or competence of the 
player. But it was essentially an age of ad libitum 
accompaniments of all kinds: sonatas were written for 
the piano, with accompaniments for the flute, or violin, 
or violoncello, or harp, or all four ad libitum; they were 
by no means necessary to the composition, but could be 
used if desired ! 

The second voluntary of this book has a separate 
stave for the pedals, the only instance in the two collec- 
tions. We shall later meet with another example of 
this diffidence in their employment. In the cornet solo 
of No. 4 "the swell pedal is not to be used in this 
movement." No. 5 has a solo for the cremona like a 


Story of Organ Music 

Haydn rondo, and the last fugue in the book is on a 
subject from Haydn. 

William Crotch, Mus. Doc. (1775-1847), organist of 
Christ Church and St. John's College, Oxford, and 

Professor of Music in the university, com- 
Dr. Crotch . f .. .*\ 

posed Concertos for the organ with instru- 
mental accompaniments, Fugues for the organ alone, 
and adapted portions of Handel's oratorios for the organ 
or pianoforte. He was one of the first to use mechanical 
means for indicating the exact tempo he required, and it 
is interesting to notice how he did it. An introduction 
and fugue on a theme by Muffat, composed in 1806, has 
the following footnote: "A pendulum of two feet length 
will give the time of the crotchet." The introduction is 
in slow time, in the key of F minor, and has bold modu- 
lations. The subject of the fugue is carefully phrased, 
an unusual feature at this time ; in the rest of the piece 
there is no phrasing. In a Concerto for the organ, with 
accompaniment for a full band, the length of the pen- 
dulum is to be nine inches for the crotchet. This work 
is similar in style to the piano concertos of Dussek. The 
entries of the band parts are indicated by small type, as 
in modern publications of the kind. 

In 1835 Crotch published some Fugues, preceded by 
Canons, the subjects being taken from well-known 
single and double chants. They are rather depressing 
compositions. By this time Maelzel's metronome was 
beginning to be known in England, for these pieces are 
preceded by notes such as " Crotchet equals a pendulum 
of sixteen inches; Maelzel's metronome, 92." 


English Organ Music 

A curious instance of history repeating itself is seen in 
the organ publications of Vincent Novello, the founder 
of the famous firm of Novello. The son of 
an Italian father and English mother, he was 
born in London in 1781, and held posts as organist to 
the Portuguese Chapel, the Roman Catholic Church in 
Moorfields, and pianist to the Italian Opera at the 
Pantheon. As an organist he attained to great celebrity. 
He died in 1861. Though he was a prolific composer, 
and his works and adaptations nearly fill a volume of 
the catalogue in the British Museum, he composed no 
organ music, but made a large number of arrangements 
for the instrument. His Cathedral Voluntaries, published 
in 1831, and dedicated to Samuel Wesley, were not 
taken from instrumental works, but from anthems and 
motets by Orlando Gibbons, Dr. Blow, and "other 
sterling composers of the English school " that is to 
say, he reverted to the practice of the sixteenth and early 
part of the seventeenth centuries of "putting into 
tablature " the vocal works of great composers, by 
reducing the scores to a form playable on keyed instru- 
ments. " The only way he can account for these 
masterly compositions not being more frequently used 
as organ pieces is that they are very scarce, and difficult 
to procure ; second, that they are in score, a shape not 
convenient to the generality of players. ... In the 
style of adaptation he has endeavoured to combine 
fulness of effect with facility of execution. Directions 
have been given for the management of the stops, the 
occasional introduction of the pedals, etc." They are 


Story of Organ Music 

printed on two staves only, and the filling in of chords, 
the use of octaves in the left hand, and other features, 
are the modern equivalents of the coloratur of the 
Germans, the diminution of the Italians, and the glosas 
of the Spaniards of the time of Elizabeth, when vocal 
works were "put into tablature." 

A prolific composer was Thomas Adams (1785-1858), 
organist of several London churches in succession, and 

famous for his remarkable powers of extem- 
. , pore playing. He published six Fugues and 

six Voluntaries in 1820, a Grand Organ Piece 
and three Voluntaries in 1824, six Organ Pieces in 1825, 
Fantasias, Interludes, and Transcriptions. The first of 
his six Organ Pieces begins with a fugue, though it is 
not called so; this is followed by an andante on the 
swell, with the bass on the choir, for the wretched half- 
keyboard was still in use for the swell organ. There 
are no indications of stops, but many changes of key- 
board. The music sounds old-fashioned, but it was 
doubtless highly appreciated in its day. The finale of 
this piece is a fugue in C minor on a somewhat cut-and- 
dried subject. It must have sounded thin where the bass 
enters in the left hand, for it seems to cry out for pedals. 
The second piece begins with a pastorale for the great 
diapasons, alternating with the swell ; it is overloaded 
with old-fashioned ornaments. A separate stave is 
used on the second page for the pedals, with notes in 
smaller type than the rest ; but the pedals have little to 
do beyond a few holding notes, and the composer seems 
to have been frightened at his own temerity, for there is 


English Organ Music 

no further use of the pedals in the rest of the work. 
The finale of this piece is a good vigorous fugue. The 
adagio of No. 4 is a solo in the left hand for the bassoon, 
but there is a note to the effect that it may be played on 
the diapason in the absence of a good reed-stop. The 
fugues are the most interesting portions in the collection. 
No. 6 is a very learned piece of fugal writing. 

Amongst Adams's compositions are ninety Interludes, 
"suited to Psalm tunes in common and triple time." 
They are short pieces of from eight to sixteen bars, to be 
used before the last verse of a hymn, a practice formerly 
common in parish churches. 

Organists now began to be dissatisfied with the 
cramping conditions under which they had to work. 
Larger and more complete instruments gradually began 
to be built, though as yet the pedal was comparatively 
rare, the tuning was that of the obsolete unequal 
temperament, and that abomination the " swell to tenor 
G," the half-keyboard, continued to vex the composer. 
It is to the credit of our organists that they accomplished 
what they did with such inadequate means, and that 
they eventually forced the hand of builders by making 
demands on them that gradually led to the magnificent 
and complete instruments of to-day. 

Samuel Sebastian Wesley, Mus. Doc., a son of 
Samuel, born in 1810, joined his father as 
one of the leaders of the new movement. oamucl 
He was successively organist of the cathe- e * s * an 
drals of Hereford, Exeter, Winchester, 
and Gloucester, where he died in 1876. He was a 


Story of Organ Music 

fine organist, a devoted adherent of Bach's music, like 
his father, and an eminent composer. For his instru- 
ment he published " A Studio for the Organ, exemplified 
in a series of exercises," an "Air, composed for Hols- 
worthy Church Bells," Andantes, " Six Pieces for a 
Chamber Organ," an " Introduction and Fugue," the 
" National Anthem with Variations," besides contribu- 
tions to the Organists' Quarterly Journal and other 

Henry Smart (1813-79), a nephew of Sir George 

Smart, was organist of various London churches. 

His compositions for the organ are very 

numerous, consisting of fifty Preludes and 

Interludes, 1862 ; Andantes, Postludes, 

Marches, Variations, etc., besides arrangements of 

Handel's chamber duets and trios. One of the most 

frequently published of his pieces is an Andante in A 

major, in the style of Merkel's andantes, consisting of a 

first subject in the tonic, a second in a related key, and 

a return to the first. This is the so-called first rondo 

form of Marx and other German theorists ; it is the 

form of hundreds of slow movements for the organ by 

modern English and German composers. 

Elizabeth Stirling, a remarkable lady organist and 

composer (1819-95), was organist of All Saints', 

Poplar, and afterwards of St. Andrew's, 

Undershaft. She was one of the first 
Stirling . .. _ T , 

English organists after the Wesleys to play 

Bach's fugues, which she began doing at the age of 
eighteen only. She is known as a composer for the 


English Organ Music 

organ by Six Pedal Fugues on English Hymn Tunes, 
and eight Slow Movements. 

William Spark, Mus. Doc., a member of a family of 
musicians, was born at Exeter in 1823, and died at 
Leeds in 1897. He was a famous recit- 
alist, and from 1860 was organist of Leeds 
Town Hall. He was also a lecturer and writer 
on musical subjects. He composed a Fantasia, a 
Grand Sonata, and other pieces, and from 1869 till 
his death edited the Organists' Quarterly Journal, 
a publication consisting of original compositions. His 
Sonata in D minor, composed for the Festival at Leeds 
in 1858, begins like a sonata, but in place of the 
orthodox second subject, there is a fugue, which grows 
out of the opening material, showing that the composer 
fully understood the genius of the organ, and avoided 
writing a piano sonata for it. The fugato part is 
followed by a development section, after which there is 
a return to the first subject. This cleverly constructed 
movement ends with a coda, in the form of a Chorale, 
on the model used by Mendelssohn in one of his piano 
fugues ; for the influence of Mendelssohn on English 
musicians was now as strong as that of Handel in the 
preceding century. 

The next movement is a well-constructed moderate, 
forming the basis of the last movement, which is a sort 
of ground bass, ending with a fugue on a large scale. 
The design of the whole work shows great skill. 

The Rev. Sir F. A. Gore Ouseley, Bart., Mus. Doc. 
(1825-89), Professor of Music at Oxford University, 


Story of Organ Music 

had a remarkable facility in extemporising fugues. He 
published eighteen Preludes and Fugues, a Sonata, An- 

dantes, Preludes, Fugues, etc. His fugues 
o ' '' are good solid work, but his preludes in 

the set of eighteen are for the most part 
like Mendelssohn's "Songs without Words," both in 
form and feeling. The so-called Liedform, consisting 
of an accompanied melody, divided by closes into 
definite sections of four bars, answering to the lines of 
poetry, though eminently suited to all other instruments, 
for some reason rarely seems in place on the organ. 
The organ is so despotic that it appears to resent 
being treated like other instruments, and demands a 
style of its own, the essence of which is all that is 
implied by the word contrapuntal. For this reason 
Ouseley's prelude, No. 6, sounds better than its neigh- 
bours, since it is in solid contrapuntal writing, without 
the four-bar sections ; and the same may be said of 
No. 7, on a basso ostinato, and No. 14, which is a 

One of the greatest virtuosos of the century was 
William Thomas Best (1826-97), organist for fifty 
TJT T r years of St. George's Hall, Liverpool. He 

published a large number of arrangements, 
an important Art of Organ-playing, and as a com- 
poser he is known by six books of original pieces, six 
Concert Pieces, a Sonata, three Preludes and Fugues, 
and a number of pieces in Cecilia, of which he was 
the editor. A fantasia and a brilliant fugue on an 
English Psalm melody of the sixteenth century are 


English Organ Music 

interesting. Twelve short Preludes on English Psalm 
tunes are " Choralvorspiele," in the style of Bach. A 
Sonata in D minor, opening with an introduction of 
chords on the trombone, has some very fine writing. 
The first movement ends with a " Hymnus Trium- 
phalis" on the full swell, fortissimo, accompanied by a 
trumpet solo on the great. The slow movement is 
a romance for voix celestes, the opening of which 
reminds one of the slow movement of Beethoven's 
fourth violin sonata ; the contrasting section is a 
clarionet solo. The finale is particularly vigorous, and 
ends with a " Hymnus Popularis " on the pedal. 

His Fantasia on a Chorale from the Scotch Psalter, 
1615, is something in the style of the choral-fugue form 
invented by Pachelbel, in which the melody is first 
worked up into a fugue, and finally appears in long 
notes, as an augmentation of the fugue subject. In 
Best's Fantasia, the final appearance of the melody 
is on the pedals, with a free accompaniment on the 

During the last thirty years or so there has been an 
enormous output of both arrangements and original 
music for the organ. The general use of the pneumatic 
action, the addition of a respectable pedal organ, the 
adoption of equal temperament, and numbers of other 
improvements both in the mechanism and artistic 
features of the instrument have led to possibilities un- 
dreamed of by our forefathers ; and the more or less 
successful imitation of the tone of the various orchestral 
instruments has given the idea that the organ could be 

2 55 

Story of Organ Music 

employed in place of the orchestra. Until comparatively 
recently orchestral concerts were few and far between, 
and music lovers had to be content with an imitation of 
the real thing. But now that we are all becoming more 
familiar with first-class orchestral-playing, its imitation 
on the organ pleases less, and the attention of organ- 
ists is more turned towards music specially written 
for their instrument, and original compositions are 
pouring forth as fast as they can be published. All 
honour to such publications as The Organists' Quarterly 
Journal, Novello's Series of Original Compositions, 
Augener's Cecilia, and similar undertakings, which 
encourage the composition of true organ music. 

The average listener undoubtedly requires something 
to "take hold of" before he can appreciate so subtle 
a thing as purely instrumental music. In violin, piano, 
or orchestral music, a personal element of interest is 
always present, because the performers are in full view 
of the audience; but with the organ this is not the 
case, and any kind of name attached to a composition 
is welcomed, that the listeners may have something 
external to the music with which to associate it. We 
will allow ourselves to illustrate our meaning by two 
anecdotes. The late Sir John Stainer used to tell a 
story of how, when he was first appointed to St. Paul's, 
he invited some friends to hear the organ, and after 
he had played genuine organ music for half-an-hour 
or so, his enthusiasm received a sudden shock by a 
request, "And now, Dr. Stainer, will you please play 
' Oh, rest in the Lord.'" 



Some years ago, when in Italy, the present writer 
played the variations of Mendelssohn's Sixth Sonata 
to the priest-organist of a small cathedral, who re- 
ceived it coldly, with the remark, " Non mi piace, manca 
lamelodia" ("It does not please me; it is wanting in 
melody"). The writer chaffingly remarked, "No doubt 
it does not please you, as it is the Lutheran Pater- 
noster," whereupon the priest completely changed his 
mind, and on future occasions frequently asked to have 
it played ! 

There is, and always has been, in every country, a 
large public which demands music of a sentimental, or 
fashionable, or commonplace character. The best art 
of any age can necessarily only appeal to those who 
have a natural taste or tendency for it, and these must 
always be more or less in a minority. Society is such a 
complex thing that all its members cannot possibly be 
equally interested in the same thing; and this is a wise 
provision of nature, for without it there would be an 
absence of the emulation which leads to progress and 
development. The love of art is no more confined to 
one social class, or section, or standard of educa- 
tion, than the love of literature, or science, or any 
other department of human energy. A comparatively 
illiterate man may be able to appreciate in a vague sort 
of way the best efforts of a musician ; and, on the other 
hand, a highly-cultivated person may be entirely in- 
sensible to it, or may love the efforts of those below 
the first rank. It is a matter of temperament and 
association; and just as there is, and always has been, 


Story of Organ Music 

literature and pictorial art to suit every taste, so there 
must always be music provided for "all sorts and 
conditions of men." 

Hence a vast amount of what musically cultivated 
people look upon as rubbish is put forward every year 
under the names of Marches, Elevations, Meditations, 
Romances, Prieres, Offertoires, and a number of other 
titles, which takes the same place as the thousands of 
Morceaux de Salon beloved of amateur violinists and 
pianists in the drawing-room. It is a mistake to look 
down upon this class of music; it has its place, and 
that a not unimportant one, for it gives temporary 
pleasure to thousands who have not the temperament, 
or opportunity, or the training to enjoy works of a 
higher calibre. There is always this consolation, too 
it will die out, as the fashionable music of past ages 
has done. 

But English composers of the first rank are producing 
works that are amongst the best of the day, and there 
is reason to hope that a school of English organ music 
is arising which will take its place as part of the 
great modern school of English composition that is so 
rapidly developing. In looking through publishers' 
catalogues, one is bewildered by the vast array of 
names of Englishmen who are occupying themselves 
more or less with the organ. We cannot make a selec- 
tion from these names, and must content ourselves with 
taking it for granted that they are well known to 
organists, and through them to the public. And there 
is scope for these works, for large organs are now 



found in nearly every concert-room as well as in the 
churches, and as there is certainly no dearth of com- 
petent performers or of organ recitals, the organ is 
probably more heard and appreciated at present than 
at any former period in its history. 







Appendix A 

Musical Illustrations, 

MERULO. Toccata, 8vo tono. From RITTER. See p. 3 

Story of Organ Music 



Appendix A 


ANDREA GABRIEU. Ricercare, del imo tuono. See p. 40. 

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Story of Organ Music 


GIOVANNI GABRIEU. Ricercare. From WASIELEWSKI, Gtsch. der 
Instrutnentalnittsik. See p. 40. 

J. J J-J. 






G. GABRIELI. New Subject. 

See p. 40. 





See p. 41. 


Appendix A 


B. PASQUINI. Toccata. B. Museum, Add. MSS., 33,661. See p. 68. 

N.B. Except in bars four and five an accidental must be considered 
as affecting only the note immediately succeeding it, and not subse- 
quent notes of the same name in the same bar. 

Story of Organ Music 




i r 


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Herzlich lieb hab' ich dich, O Herr. B. Schmid, Sen. 1577. From 
RITTER. See p. 88. 
Original Melody. 

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Schmidts Coloratura 

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Appendix A 


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"Mr. TALLIS, his Offertory." Add. MSS., 31,403. See p. 187. 

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Praeludium voor " Laet ons met herten Reijne," VAX JAN BULL, Dr. 
Add. MSS., 23,623. Composed April, 1628. See p. 195 and 
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Appendix C. 

Bibliography and Collections of 
Organ Music. 

Adlung. Musica Mechanica Organcedi. 1768. 

Ambros, A. W. Geschichte der Musik, vol. iii., " Die 

Venezianische Musikschule"; vol. iv., "Die Italienischen 


Ammerbach, or Elias, Nicolaus. Tabulaturbuch. 1571. 
Antegnati, Costanza. L'Arte Organica. Brescia, 16138. See 

p. 47. 
Antonio di Bologna, Marco. Recerchari, Moteti, Canzoni. 

Venice, 1523. See pp. 26 and 31. 
Antony, F. J. Geschichtliche Darstellung der Entstehung und 

Vervollkomnung der Orgel. 1832. 
Aresti, G. C. Sonate da Organo di varii autori. Bologna (?), 

circa 1700. 
Attaignant, P. Published a large collection of French organ 

music at Paris in 1 530. 
Becker, C. F., and Ritter, A. G. Orgel-Achiv, a collection ot 

ancient organ music published at Liepsic. 
Bedos de Celles. L'Art du Facteur d'Orgues. Paris, 1766, etc. 
Best, W. T. Art of Organ-playing. London, 1870. 

Collection of Organ Compositions, Ancient and Modern. 

Cecilia, a collection, chiefly of modern compositions. 

Buxtehude, Dietrich. Collected works, edited by P. Spitta. 


Appendix C 

Cabezon, Antonio de. Obras de musica para tecla, vihuela, etc. 

Madrid, 1578. 
Caffi, F. Storia della musica sacra nella gia Capella ducale di 

San Marco in Venezia del 1318 al 1797. 
Coelho, Padre Manoel Rodrigues. Flores de musica pera o 

Instrumento de Tecla y Harpa. Lisbon, 1620. 
Commer, Franz. Sammlung der besten Meisterwerke des 16, 

17, 1 8, Jahrhunderts fur die Orgel. 1839. 
Diruta, G. Canzoni Francesi. 1599. 

II Transilvano. Venezia, 1607. See pp. 12 and 41-46. 

Eitner, Robert. Sammlung Schwelinckscher Orgelcomposi- 

Erbach, Christian. Ausgewahlte Werke, in E. von Werra's 

Denkmaler Deutscher Tonkunst. 
Eslava, Hilarion. Museo Organico Espanol. 1857. 
Fasolo, G. Battista. Annuale che contiene tutto quello che 

deve far un organista. Venice, 1645. 
Fischer, J. C. F. Ariadne Musica. 1702. 
Frescobaldi, Girolamo. Collections of his own works, published 

in 1608, 1615, 1635, 1645. 
Froberger, J. J. Diversi curiose, rarissime partite di Toccate, 

Ricercate, etc. 1693 and 1696. See p. 117. 
Fuller-Maitland, J. A., and Squire, W. Barclay. The Fitz- 

william Virginal Book, containing many English organ 


Gabrieli, A. and G. Ricercari. Venice, 1585, etc. 
Gabrieli, A. Canzoni alia Francese, per 1'organo. 1571. 
Gheyn, M. van den. Works, edited by Xavier van Elewyk. 1862. 
Haberl, Fr. X. Collectio Musicae Organicae. 1887. 
Hassler, Hans Leo. Ausgewahlte Werke, in E. von Werra's 

Denkmaler Deutscher Tonkunst. 
Henestrosa, L. V. de. Libro de cifra nueva para tecla, etc. 

Alcala, 1557. 
Locke, Matthew. Melothesia, or certain general rules . . . 

with a choice collection of Lessons for the Harpsichord or 

Organ. 1673. 
Lorente, Andres. El Porque de la musica. Alcala de Henares, 

Merulo, Claudio. Toccate d'Intavolatura d'organo. 1597. 


Story of Organ Music 

Mufifat, Georg. Apparatus Musico Organisticus. 1690. 

Nares, James. II Principio, or a Regular Introduction to Play- 
ing on the Harpsichord or Organ. 1770. 

Noordt, Anthony van. Tabulertur-Boeck van Psalmen en 
Fantaseyen . . . Amsterdam, 1659. 

Novello & Co. Original Compositions for the Organ (chiefly 
English composers of the present day). 

Old English Organ Music. 

Paix, Jacobus. Ein schon nutz unnd gebrauchlich Orgel- 
tabulatur. 1583. 

Paumann, Conrad. Fundamentum Organisandi. 1452. 

Pedrell, Phillippo. Hispaniae Schola Musicae Sacrae. Sec. xv., 
xvi., xvii., xviii. 

Rameau, J. B. Dissertation sur les diflferents methodes 
d'accompagnement pour le clavier ou orgue. Paris, 1742. 

Rau, Ludwig. Die Orgel in ihrem wiirdevollem Gebrauch. 


Rietschl, G. Die Aufgabe der Orgel im Gottesdienste. 1892. 
Rinck, J. C. H. Practical Organ School. 
Ritter, A. G. Zur Geschichte des Orgelspiels, vornehmlich des 

deutschen, im 14 bis zum Anfange des 18 Jahrhunderts. 

Samber, J. B. Manuductio ad Organum, das ist : Grundliche 

und sichere Handleitung . . . zu der edlen Schlagkunst. 

Saltzburg, 1704. 
Santa Maria, Fray Thomas de. Libro llamada Arte de taner 

Fantasia, . . . para tecla, etc. 1565. 
Scheidt, S. Ludorum Musicorum. 1623. 

Tabulatura Nova. 1624. 

100 Geistlicher Lieder fiir die Herren Organisten. Gorlitz, 


Scherer, S. A. Tabulatura: vol. i., 1664; vol. ii., undated. 
Schlecht, R. Geschichte der Kirchenmusik. Regensburg, 1871. 
Schlick, Arnold. Spiegel der Orgelmacher und Organisten. 

Tabulaturen etlicher lobgesang und liedlein uflf die Orgeln 

und lauten. 1512. 
Schmid, B., sen. Zwei Bucher einer neuen kiinstlichen Tabu- 

latur auflf Orgeln, etc. 1 570. 


Appendix C 

Schmid, B.,jun. Tabulaturbuch. 1607. 

Spark, W. The Organists' Quarterly Journal : a collection of 

original music by English and foreign composers. 1869, etc. 
Speth, Johannen. Ars magna, Consoni et dissoni. 1693. 
Spitta. Life of J. S. Bach. 1884. 
Turk, D. T. Von den wichtigsten Pflichten eines Organisten. 

Wasielewski, W. J. von. Geschichte der Instrumentalmusik im 

1 6 Jahrhundert. 1878. 

Willaert, Adriano. Fantasie, Ricercare, etc. Venezia, 1559. 
Winterfeld, C. von. Johannes Gabrieli und sein Zeitalter. 

Berlin, 1834. 
Woltz, Johann. Novas musices organi et Tabulatura. 1617. 




Abington, 183 

Adams, T., 250 

Agremens, 147, 151 

Albrechtsberger, 226 

Albrici, 66 

Alcala, 1 66 

Altnikol, 225 

Amerbach, or Ammerbach, 8 1 -86, 


Anglebert, D', 151, 152 
Antegnati, 47-50, 52 
Antonio, Marco, 26, 31 
Apparatus Musico Organisticus, 

I2O, 121 

Architecture compared to music, 


Aresti, 64, 66 
Arne, Dr., 241 
Arraujo, Correa y, 165 
Ars Consent et Dissoni, 1 14 
Arte Organica, 47 
Asolo, 53 

Attaingnant, 143, 145 
Attwood, 228 
Augmentation, 40, 133, 174 

BACH, Christoph, 112 

Ernst, 225 

Hans, 123 

Bach, J. Christoph, 119 

Heinrich, 123 

J. S., 44, 67, 79; and 

Reinken, 105, 126; and Buxte- 
hude, 1 06, 126, 129-140; and 
Froberger, 119, 140; his train- 
ing, 125-128; works, 129-142; 
and Pachelbel, 140, 175 ; and 
Purcell, 209, 221 ; pupils, 224, 
225; Rinck's view, 226; Wesley, 

W. F., 129, 224, 225 

family, the, 122, 123, 152 

Banchieri, 46, 166 

Bariola, 51 

Bartoldi, 53 

Bass, 72 

Bassani, 64 

Battiferro, 66 

" Battle of Marignano," 91 

Beck with, 243 

Beethoven, 107, 197, 224, 226 

Begue, Le, 149, 152 

Bellhaver, 45 

Bells, 22, 170 

Benoist, 233 

Best, 254, 255 

Blitheman, 186, 190-192 

Blow, 204-208, 209 

Boellmann, 235 



Story of Organ Music 

Boerken, 171 

Boethius, 167, 182 

Bohm, influence on Bach ot, 136 

Bossi, 223, 224 

Brescia, 33, 45, 47 ; organ at, 49 

Brignoli, 53 

Brisee, 32 

Brown, Brouno Inglese, 174 

Bruhns, 108; influence on Bach, 
139, 140 

Bull, Dr., 17 note, 171, 174; his 
skill, 192-195, 196, 201, 274 

Buononcini, 65 

Burney, 68 ; cornet pieces, 204, 
205 ; remarks on English com- 
posers, 213 

Buttstedt, H2 

Buus, 26, 30, 31, 36, 39, 85 

Buxtehude, 106-108, 120, 129; in- 
fluence on Bach see Bach, J. S. 

Byrd, 186-190, 196, 20 1 

Byzantine music, 4 

CABEZON, 160-164 

H. de, 162, 164 

Canto de organo, 166; meaning of 
expression, 193 note 

Llano, or Cantollano, 159, 166 

Canzona Francese, 13, 50, 53, 56, 
59, 68, >5 note ; called fugue, 90 
and 94; in Germany, 102; Bach, 
138; develops into fugue, 174, 
189; Blow, 207 

Capocci, 223 

Capriccio, 51, 59, 189 

Carillons, 69, 171 

Carissimi, 119 

Cassiodorus, 7 

Castillo, De, 165, 166 

Cawston, 185 

Celles, De, 156, 157 

Celsi, 24 

Chaire organ, 208, 21 1 

Chambonnieres, 147, 151, 152 

Charles II. of England, 200 

Chorales, 92, 95, 96, 102; in style 
of fugue, no, 121, 189 

Choralfuge, invention of, by Pachel- 
bel, 112, 133 

Choralvorspiel, 75; origin of, 95, 
96; Bach's, 99, 140; as fantasias, 
100; Reinken, 104; no equiva- 
lent in English ritual, 180; Dr. 
Bull's, 195; Best's, 255 

Cipriano de Rore, 38 

Claudian, 6 

Claviano, 168 

Clavigo, 165 

Clarke- Whitfeld, 245 

Clemens non Papa, 88 

Clifford's Collection, 201 

Coelho, 169 

Colonna, 65 

Coloratura, 79-94 ; disappearance 
fi 95-97. I2 4 J 6j note, 189 

Coloriren, 79 

Colouring, ancient, 5 

Commer, 59, 108 114 

Compass, see Organ 

Congregational singing rise of, 
101-103; ra S e f r > ' n England, 

Contras, 160 

Cooke, Captain, 209 

Dr., 242 

Corelli, 60, 64, 67; subject used by 
Bach, 138 

Cornet, Pierre, 174, 175 

Cornet stop, 50, 203 ; pieces, 204, 
208, 243 

Cosyn Virginal Book, 187 

Council of Trent, see Trent 

Counterpoint, 17 ; Bach's mastery 
of, 132; countre note, 181 



Couperin family, 152, 153 
Cranach, .Lucas, 74 
Credo, 97, 100 
Crequillon, 40, 88 
Croft, 204, 208 
Crotch, 248 
Criiger, 95 

DANCE music, n, 12, 15, 190, 


Day's Certaine Notes, \ 84 
Degrees, university, 182, 213 
Differencias, 163 
Diminution, 42, 50, 124; in fugue, 


Diruta, 41, 45, 47, 89 
Discant, 72, 73, 77, 98 
Dominant, 18, 19 
Donati, 33 
Doppelschlag, 32 
Dorian Mode, 40, 77 ; Bach's 

Dorian Toccata, 134, 148, 163 
Double organ, 197 ; voluntaries 

for, 206, 207, 211 ; meaning of 

term, 206 
Dubois, 235, 236 
Dunstable, 182 
Dupuis, 243 
Durante, 67 


Echo, 101, in, 150 

Eijken, Van, 238 

Eitner, 177 

Elevazione, 149 

Elias, 167 

English music, 179 et seq. ; in the 

eighteenth century, 216 
English composers, 213, 240, 258 
Erbach, 113 
Eslava, 158, 161, 169 
Expression, 60, 114 


Fahrmann, 233 

Faisst, 229 

Falso Bordone, 44 

Fancy, English name for Fantasia, 
186, 187, 190, 191 

Fantasia, 28, 40, 41 ; on chorale, 
100, 102; Bach's form, 135; 
Phillip's, 173 ; develops into 
fugue, 174; Cornet's, 175, 189; 
English name for Ricercare, 

Fasolo, 62 

Fattorini, 46 

Ferdinand III., 71 

Figurierte Choral, 100 

Fingering in the sixteenth century, 

Fischer, M. G., 229, 230 

K. A., 229 

Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, 173, 
177, 187, 189 

Form in music, II, 19 

Forster, 75 

France, the organ in, 143 

Franck, 234 

French style of organ music, 144 

Frescobaldi, 55-63; Fiori musicali, 
59-60, 96, 101, 106, 107, 114, 
121, 135, 137, 189, 190, 221 

Froberger, 57, 115-119, 14? 

Frozen music, 14, 16 

Fugue, 13, 90, 94; Quadruple, 
IOO; recognised as a regular 
form, 102; North German form, 
105, 107, 119; variation form, 
114; Italian form, 105, 133, 
!37i !38; French, 148; Spanish, 
169; Phillips', 174; Sweelinck's, 

Fuggers, 109, 113 

Fiindamentum Organicandi, 71 


Story of Organ Music 

GABRIELI, A. and G., 36, 45, 89, 

109, no, 113, 119, 173, 189, 

265, 266 
Gardano, 30 
Gasparini, 67 
Gheyn, Van den, 175, 176 
Gibbons, C., 197, 205 

E., 196 

O., 196, 201, 213 

Gigault, 146 

Giustiniani, 65 

Glosa, Glosado, 162, 163 note, 


Goldberg, 225 
Gorlitz, organ used with voices at, 


Graces, 196 
Grand jeu, 151 
Grand orgue, 150 
Greene, Dr., 202, 203 
Grosteste, Bishop, 181 
Ground, 190, 196 
Grupetto, 32, 45 
Guami, 45, 46 
Guilmant, 151, 232, 235-237 


Halle, organ at, 99 

Handel, 65, 100, 106; uses a fugue 
subject of Hassler, no; bor- 
rows from Kerl, 119; organ 
concertos, 141, 202, 212, 214- 
216; reasons for his popularity 
in England, 213, 214, 221 

Harmonia organica, 1 1 1 

Harmony, 3 ; ancient, 4 ; counter- 
point, 17, 18; equivalent to 
tone, 46, 49, 50 

Harris, 199 

Hassler, 92, 95, 109, HO 

Haydn, 224 

Henry III. of France, 33 

Hesse, 229 

Hexachord, use of, for variations, 

Hispania Schola Musica, see 


Hofhaimer, 74 
Homilius, 225 
Humphreys, Pelham, 201, 209, 


Huss, Communion hymn, 98 
Hydraulus, 2; scales of, 3; 

Galpin's reproduction, 4, 5 
Hymns, 47, 97, 98, 163 

IMITATIO violistica, 97 
In Nomine, 190, 191, 192 
Instrumental music, reflections on, 

14, IS 

Intabolatura, see Tablature 
Intonations, 39 note 
Italian organs, see Organs 
Italy, 221 

JAMES, 174 
Jannequin, 91 
Johnson, 185 
Josephi, 95 
Julian, 6 

Kerl, in, 119 
Key, 18, 19, 65 
Kindermann, no, III 
Kircher, 155 
Kittel, 225, 226, 229 
Kleber, 79, 80 
Koch family, 76, 152 
Krebs, 225 
Kuhnau, 67 

Kyrie, 27, 59, 97; French treat- 
ment, 148; Spanish, 162 




Landino, 21-26, 70, 71, 183 

Lange, De, 239 

Lassus, O., 88, 92, 169, 174 

Lefebure-Wely, 234 

Legrenzi, 137, 139 

Lemmens, 237 

Lindon, 168 

Little organ, 21 1 

Lord's Prayer, 100, 112, 113 

Lorente, 166 

Los organos, 193 note 

Llibeck, organ at, 106 

Lully, 201 

Lutheran service, 102 

Luython, 94, 174 

Luzzaschi, 45 

MACE, 216 

Madrigals as organ music, 13, 86 
Maestro di Cappella, 26, 29 
Magnificat, 62 ; directions for, 98, 

146, 149 
Major scale, early recognition of, 

16, supersedes the modes, 18 
Marchand, 153, 154 
Marbecke, 1 88 note 
March, 12, 15, 245 
Martini, 68, 69, 221 
Maschera, 53 
Melody, ancient view of, II ; in 

Spain, 168 

Mendelssohn, 100, 229, 238 
Menon, 33 
Merkel, 231 
Merulo, 28, 33-35, 38, 41, 45, 51, 

89, 92, 113, 189, 263 
Metronome, use of, 248 
Milleville, 56 
Minor scale, 17 
Missa Papa Mar c ell i, 185 
Mode, 19 note 

Modes, ecclesiastical, 16, 101; 
Mixolydian, 163 ; Dorian, 
Phrygian, see under these words 

Modulations, 19, 106, 114, 191 

Modus oder Tonus, 93 

Monteverde, 200 

Morley, 20 

Mortaro, 45 

Motets as organ music, 13, 26, 27, 

Mozart, 224 
Muffat, 107, I2O 
Musica Ficta, 17, 93 
MusicK's Monument, 216 
Mutation, 44 
Muthel, 225 

NARES, 241 

Nassarre, 166 

Nebra, 168 

Netherland, influence in Spain, 

162; Portugal, 169; music, 170- 


Ninfale, 22, 23 
Nisard, 234 
Noel, 149, 151 
Noordt, Van, 178 
Novello, 249 

OPERA, influence of, on church 
music, 200 

Organ, tower-shaped, 7; mediae- 
val, 21 ; at St. Mark's, 29; com- 
pass of, 73, 78; not used to 
accompany voices, 97, 102, 103; 
management of, 98; at Halle, 
99; Bach's, 127; French, 150, 
151; Spanish, 160; in England, 
181; at York, 190 

music, South German, 108; 

French, 144-146, 148-151, 157; 
Spanish, 159; English, 182, 199 


Story of Organ Music 

Organaio, 25 

Organa magna, 22, 24, 25 

Organista, 25 

Organists, regulations for, 28; 

Italian, 51; German, 79, 80 
Organos partidos, 160 
Organum, 72, 193 note 

parvum, 25 

Ouseley, 253 

PACHRLBEL, in, 112, 211 

Padovano, Annibale, 28 

Padua, organs at, 222 

Pair of organs, 193 

Paix, 90, 189 

Palestrina, 36, roo, 163 

Parabosco, 33 

Pasquini, Bernardo, 67, 107, 211, 

Ercole, 56 

Passacaglia, 57, 61 ; Bach's, 129, 

Passomezzo, 12, 190 

Paumann, 70, 77-79, 90, 183 

Pausce, 72, 73 

Pavana, 174 

Pedal, 31, 49, 50, 64, 65, 68, 73, 
77, 8 5> 93! double, 97, 98, 108; 
compass of, 98, 150; directions 
for, 99; French use of, 149, 
150; in Spain, 159, 160; first 
used in Netherlands, 170; not 
used in England, 180, 205; used 
in England, 247, 249, 250, 255 

Pedrell, Spanish music, 158, 162 

Perfect rhythm, 74 

Periods of modern organ music, 9 

Pesaro, 24 

Phalesio, 57 

Phillips, Peter, 171 

Phrygian Mode, 119 

Pleinjeu, 151 

Poglietti, 66 

Popular melodies, 40, 59 

Popular music in Spain, 168 

Portative, 22 

Portuguese music, 169 

Positive, Positif, 22, 25, 77, 150, 

156, 193 
Pneambula, 74 
Praetorius, 75, 93 
Principle, II, 241 
Psalm of Last Supper, 97, 98 
Purcell, 62, 68, 201, 205, 208-212 ; 

his Toccata, 209, 210, 214 
Puritans, jealousy of organs, 184 


RAISON, 146-149 

Rameau, 154-156 

Ramis, 77, 167 

Recit, French name for swell 

organ, 150 note 
Recitative, 107 
Reed stops, see Stops 
Reger, 233 

Registering, see Stop combinations 
Reinken, 104-106 
Rheinberger, 223, 231, 232 
Rhythm, 3, 19, 78, 195, 224 
Ricercari, 13, 26, 30, 32, 34; 

Palestrina's, 36, 38-40, 45, 47, 

5i 53. 57, 59, 60, 66, "; 

develops into fugue, 174; called 

fantasia, 177, 190 
Rinck, 226 
Ritter, 230 
Robinson, J., 204 
Romanini, 45 
Roseingrave, 202, 240 
Rossi, 62, 210 
Riickpositiv, 78 
Russell, 246-248 




St. Mark's, Venice, 24-31, 33, 36, 

38, 46, 98 

Salto Cattivo Santucci, 223 
Scheidemann, 104 
Scheidt, 96, 98; Tabulatur-bucb, 

101, III 

Schein, 95 

Schlemmer, ill 

Schlick, 76, 77, 80, 90 

Schmid, B., sen., 87, 272 

Schmid, B., jun., 53, 87, 89, 90, 

Schneider, J. C. F., 227, 228 

J. G., 228 


Schubart, 225 

Schubert, 224 

Schumann, 229 

Sguarcialupo, 24-26, 71, 182, 183 

Shepherd, 185 

Sin embargo, Spanish for fugue, 

Single organ, 206 

Smart, Henry, 252 

Smith, Bernhard, 199 

Soler, 168 

Solesmes, 233 

Song, 75 ; of Luther, 95 

South Germany, 108 

Spain, 158-169 

Spark, 253 

Speth, 114, 121 

Spezzato, 49 

Spiegel der Orgelmcuher, 77 

Stanley, 241 

Steigleder, 113 

Stirling, E., 252 

Stop combinations, 46-51, 99 

Stops, reed, 49, 73 ; French pre- 
ference for, 148 ; Spanish, 160 

Subdominant, 19 

Sweelinck, 96, 104, 152, 176; his 
music, 177, 178, 187, 194 

Tabulatura Nova, 96-100 

Tablature, Intabolatura, Intavola- 
tura, etc., 30, 31, 34; Italian, 
38, 47, 52, 57, 62, 66, 68-70; 
German, 72, 78, 80 ; specimen 
with translation, 82-85, 88, 89, 
91, 92; decay of, 97; French, 
144 ; Spanish, 162 ; English, 
173, 183; Dutch, 178; Bull's, 


Tallis, 185-189, 273 

Tastata, 114 

Taverner, 185 

Tabaldini, 224 

Tecla, Teclada, 161 note 

Temperament, 65, 77, 106; Equal: 
first proposed in Spain, 167 ; 
England, 181, 255 

Terrabugio, 223 

Thiele, 230 

Thomas de Santa Maria, 164 

Thuringia, 122 

Tiento, 163, 169 

Titelouze, 146 

Toccata, 13, 34, 44, 45, 53; 
Frescobaldi's, 59-61, 74 ; in 
Germany, 102; and fugue, 115, 
121, 189; Bach's, 133-135, 137; 
Purcell's, 209 

Tomkins family, 197 

Tones, 46, 47, 97 

Tonality, 18, 74, 79, 93 ; inde- 
finite, 101 ; Bull's, 194, 195 ; 
Purcell's, 211 

Touch, 190 

Trabaci, 53 

Transilvano, //, 12, 41-46 

Tremolo, 44, 97 

Tremulant, 150 


Story of Organ Music 

Trent, Council of, 12, 40, 184 
Tunder, 106 
Turn, 32, 45 
Tye, 186-188 


Valente, 51 

Vallotti, 222, 223, 227 

Van Eijken, see Eijken 

Van den Gheyn, see Gheyn 

Variations, 100 

Verse equivalent to Variation, 100 

Versi, Versetti, 53, 59, 189, 223 

Versillos or Versos, 162, 163 

Vetter, 112 

Vihuela, 161 note 

Vincenti, 56 

Virdung, 70, 72, 76 

Vivaldi Concertos arranged by 

Bach, 140 
Vogler, Abbe, 222, 227 

J. G.,225 

Voluntaries, 196; during service, 
202 ; Greene's, 203 ; Blow's, 
206; Russell's, 246 

Vox humana, 49, 150, 203 

Weber, 224, 227 
Wegweiser, 113 
Wesley, C., 244 


S. S., 251 

Widor, 235-237 

Willaert, 26, 29, 30, 36, 38, 39 

Woltz, 92, 93, 189 

ZACHAU, 100 
Zarlino, 45, 96, 166 
Zeigler, 225 
Zimbel, 78 
Zipoli, 68 
Zuchetti, 24, 27 



ML Williams, Charles Francis 
600 Abdy 

The story of organ music